Early Childhood Education

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    Early Childhood Education

    When Families Fail

    By DAVID BROOKS

    Today millions of American children grow up in homes where they don’t learn the skills they need to succeed in life. Their vocabularies are tiny. They can’t regulate their emotions. When they get to kindergarten they’ve never been read a book, so they don’t know the difference between the front cover and the back cover.

    But, starting a few decades ago, we learned that preschool intervention programs could help. The efforts were small and expensive, but early childhood programs like the Perry and Abecedarian projects made big differences in kids’ lives. The success of these programs set off a lot of rhapsodic writing, including by me, about the importance of early childhood education. If government could step in and provide quality preschool, then we could reduce poverty and increase social mobility.

    But this problem, like most social problems, is hard. The big federal early childhood program, Head Start, has been chugging along since 1965, and the outcomes are dismal. Russ Whitehurst of the Brookings Institution summarizes the findings of the most rigorous research: “There is no measurable advantage to children in elementary school of having participated in Head Start. Further, children attending Head Start remain far behind academically once they are in elementary school. Head Start does not improve the school readiness of children from low-income families.”

    Fortunately, that is not the end of the story. Over the past several years, there’s been a flurry of activity, as states and private groups put together better early childhood programs. In these programs, the teachers are better trained. There are more rigorous performance standards. The curriculum is better matched to the one the children will find when they enter kindergarten.

    These state programs, in places like Oklahoma, Georgia and New Jersey, have not been studied as rigorously as Head Start. There are huge quality differences between different facilities in the same state or the same town. The best experts avoid sweeping conclusions. Nonetheless, there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that these state programs can make at least an incremental difference in preparing children for school and in getting parents to be more engaged in their kids’ education.

    These programs do not perform miracles, but incremental improvements add up year by year and produce significantly better lives.

    Enter President Obama. This week he announced the most ambitious early childhood education expansion in decades. Early Thursday morning, early education advocates were sending each other ecstatic e-mails. They were stunned by the scope of what Obama is proposing.

    But, on this subject, it’s best to be hardheaded. So I spent Wednesday and Thursday talking with experts and administration officials, trying to be skeptical. Does the president’s plan merely expand the failing federal effort or does it focus on quality and reform? Is the president trying to organize a bloated centralized program or is he trying to be a catalyst for local experimentation?

    So far the news is very good. Obama is trying to significantly increase the number of kids with access to early education. The White House will come up with a dedicated revenue stream that will fund early education projects without adding to the deficit. These federal dollars will be used to match state spending, giving states, many of whom want to move aggressively, further incentive to expand and create programs.

    But Washington’s main role will be to measure outcomes, not determine the way states design their operations. Washington will insist that states establish good assessment tools. They will insist that pre-K efforts align with the K-12 system. But beyond that, states will have a lot of latitude.

    Should early education centers be integrated with K-12 school buildings or not? Should the early childhood teachers be unionized or certified? Obama officials say they want to leave those sorts of questions up to state experimentation. “I’m just about building quality,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan told me. The goal is to make the federal oversight as simple as possible.

    That’s crucial. There’s still a lot we don’t know about how to educate children that young. The essential thing is to build systems that can measure progress, learn and adapt to local circumstances. Over time, many children will migrate from Head Start into state programs.

    This is rude to say, but here’s what this is about: Millions of parents don’t have the means, the skill or, in some cases, the interest in building their children’s future. Early childhood education is about building structures so both parents and children learn practical life skills. It’s about getting kids from disorganized homes into rooms with kids from organized homes so good habits will rub off. It’s about instilling achievement values where they are absent.

    President Obama has taken on a big challenge in a realistic and ambitious way. If Republicans really believe in opportunity and local control, they will get on board.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/15/opinion/brooks-crayons-to-college.html?hp

     

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from doozy-day. Show doozy-day's posts

    Re: Early Childhood Education

    In response to UserName99's comment:

    When Families Fail

    By DAVID BROOKS

    Today millions of American children grow up in homes where they don’t learn the skills they need to succeed in life. Their vocabularies are tiny. They can’t regulate their emotions. When they get to kindergarten they’ve never been read a book, so they don’t know the difference between the front cover and the back cover.

    But, starting a few decades ago, we learned that preschool intervention programs could help. The efforts were small and expensive, but early childhood programs like the Perry and Abecedarian projects made big differences in kids’ lives. The success of these programs set off a lot of rhapsodic writing, including by me, about the importance of early childhood education. If government could step in and provide quality preschool, then we could reduce poverty and increase social mobility.

    But this problem, like most social problems, is hard. The big federal early childhood program, Head Start, has been chugging along since 1965, and the outcomes are dismal. Russ Whitehurst of the Brookings Institution summarizes the findings of the most rigorous research: “There is no measurable advantage to children in elementary school of having participated in Head Start. Further, children attending Head Start remain far behind academically once they are in elementary school. Head Start does not improve the school readiness of children from low-income families.”

    Fortunately, that is not the end of the story. Over the past several years, there’s been a flurry of activity, as states and private groups put together better early childhood programs. In these programs, the teachers are better trained. There are more rigorous performance standards. The curriculum is better matched to the one the children will find when they enter kindergarten.

    These state programs, in places like Oklahoma, Georgia and New Jersey, have not been studied as rigorously as Head Start. There are huge quality differences between different facilities in the same state or the same town. The best experts avoid sweeping conclusions. Nonetheless, there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that these state programs can make at least an incremental difference in preparing children for school and in getting parents to be more engaged in their kids’ education.

    These programs do not perform miracles, but incremental improvements add up year by year and produce significantly better lives.

    Enter President Obama. This week he announced the most ambitious early childhood education expansion in decades. Early Thursday morning, early education advocates were sending each other ecstatic e-mails. They were stunned by the scope of what Obama is proposing.

    But, on this subject, it’s best to be hardheaded. So I spent Wednesday and Thursday talking with experts and administration officials, trying to be skeptical. Does the president’s plan merely expand the failing federal effort or does it focus on quality and reform? Is the president trying to organize a bloated centralized program or is he trying to be a catalyst for local experimentation?

    So far the news is very good. Obama is trying to significantly increase the number of kids with access to early education. The White House will come up with a dedicated revenue stream that will fund early education projects without adding to the deficit. These federal dollars will be used to match state spending, giving states, many of whom want to move aggressively, further incentive to expand and create programs.

    But Washington’s main role will be to measure outcomes, not determine the way states design their operations. Washington will insist that states establish good assessment tools. They will insist that pre-K efforts align with the K-12 system. But beyond that, states will have a lot of latitude.

    Should early education centers be integrated with K-12 school buildings or not? Should the early childhood teachers be unionized or certified? Obama officials say they want to leave those sorts of questions up to state experimentation. “I’m just about building quality,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan told me. The goal is to make the federal oversight as simple as possible.

    That’s crucial. There’s still a lot we don’t know about how to educate children that young. The essential thing is to build systems that can measure progress, learn and adapt to local circumstances. Over time, many children will migrate from Head Start into state programs.

    This is rude to say, but here’s what this is about: Millions of parents don’t have the means, the skill or, in some cases, the interest in building their children’s future. Early childhood education is about building structures so both parents and children learn practical life skills. It’s about getting kids from disorganized homes into rooms with kids from organized homes so good habits will rub off. It’s about instilling achievement values where they are absent.

    President Obama has taken on a big challenge in a realistic and ambitious way. If Republicans really believe in opportunity and local control, they will get on board.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/15/opinion/brooks-crayons-to-college.html?hp

     



    I agree kids need as much help as they can get these days, the problem as I see it is educating the parents and the educators.

    Some parents are the worst influence on their own kids, or they don't give a rats-azz, or worse.  These people need to go back to responsibility training themselves if they are going to pro-create any more.

    Educators, and the Administrators that Administer them, are the next batch that needs to go back to school.  A lot of them are lazy, old-school thinkers, that cannot adjust to the new ways of the world.  All they want is more money to fix these "broken kids", and the poor kids aren't even five yet. 

    Start with the parents, educators, and some basic personal responsibility, wow, what a concept.

    The kids will learn, believe me, I've got two great kids that have been nurtured, helped, loved, disciplined, scolded, cared for, assisted, etc.  Basically, my wife and I cared for and provided for our kids to help them along their way.  We're not rich, but we want a better life for our kids, that's the difference.

    Now the hardest part is taking care of our own future, which has financial trouble at present, much due to the current way the government is being run.  

    Early retirement is no longer on the horizon, employment security is the current issue, keeping ahead of rising prices and taxes, also slows things down.

    But hey, we all know about that stuff, right?

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from ComingLiberalCrackup. Show ComingLiberalCrackup's posts

    Re: Early Childhood Education

    "The big federal early childhood program, Head Start, has been chugging along since 1965, and the outcomes are dismal. "

    Yet David Brooks is optimistic that the federal government...the federal government...can do anything like this ?

    Another federal boondoggle that will chug along and have dismal outcomes, but at least it will spend billions and hire thousands of bureaucrats.

    Another divisive element to this is that if you are below a certain income level, you get free preschool...if you are dumb enough to be working and middle class, tough on you.

    Yet another incentive for people not to work.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from ComingLiberalCrackup. Show ComingLiberalCrackup's posts

    Re: Early Childhood Education

    "Millions of parents don’t have the means, the skill or, in some cases, the interest in building their children’s future. Early childhood education is about building structures so both parents and children learn practical life skills. It’s about getting kids from disorganized homes into rooms with kids from organized homes so good habits will rub off. It’s about instilling achievement values where they are absent."

    So we finally admit, what liberals want is the Government as the parent!

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from UserName99. Show UserName99's posts

    Re: Early Childhood Education

    In response to ComingLiberalCrackup's comment:

    So we finally admit, what liberals want is the Government as the parent!

    [/QUOTE]


    So David Brooks is a liberal now?

     
  6. This post has been removed.

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from ComingLiberalCrackup. Show ComingLiberalCrackup's posts

    Re: Early Childhood Education

    In response to UserName99's comment:

    In response to ComingLiberalCrackup's comment:

    So we finally admit, what liberals want is the Government as the parent!




    So David Brooks is a liberal now?

    [/QUOTE]


    Brooks is no hardline conservative, he is a smart guy but a RINO, and has been a big-time  Obama worshipper...

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: Early Childhood Education

    In response to ComingLiberalCrackup's comment:

    In response to UserName99's comment:

     

    In response to ComingLiberalCrackup's comment:

    So we finally admit, what liberals want is the Government as the parent!

     




    So David Brooks is a liberal now?

     




    Brooks is no hardline conservative, he is a smart guy but a RINO, and has been a big-time  Obama worshipper...

    [/QUOTE]


    More of that hardline purity the repubs love so much...just like they're sniffling about with Hagel.

    "a big-time obama worshipper" = anyone failing said purity test, above.

     

    Apparently, "big-time RINO obama-worshippers" can also be smart guys in CLC's tiny world.  Thank the stars for that.

     

     

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from skeeter20. Show skeeter20's posts

    Re: Early Childhood Education

    In response to UserName99's comment:

    In response to ComingLiberalCrackup's comment:

    So we finally admit, what liberals want is the Government as the parent!




    So David Brooks is a liberal now?

    [/QUOTE]

    You are questioning David Brooks liberal bonafides?  Amazing.

    But, back to the core issue.  I just don't see why we put up wiht parents at all.  Once the father impregnates, back to the work farm for him.  once the mother squeezes out the little bundle of joy, immediately remove the child and put it into a government run institution so we can maximize its potential, along liberal lines, of course..

    That is what liberals want, right?

     
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  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Reubenhop. Show Reubenhop's posts

    Re: Early Childhood Education

    In response to GreginMeffa's comment:

    In response to UserName99's comment:

     

    When Families Fail

    By DAVID BROOKS

    Today millions of American children grow up in homes where they don’t learn the skills they need to succeed in life. Their vocabularies are tiny. They can’t regulate their emotions. When they get to kindergarten they’ve never been read a book, so they don’t know the difference between the front cover and the back cover.

    But, starting a few decades ago, we learned that preschool intervention programs could help. The efforts were small and expensive, but early childhood programs like the Perry and Abecedarian projects made big differences in kids’ lives. The success of these programs set off a lot of rhapsodic writing, including by me, about the importance of early childhood education. If government could step in and provide quality preschool, then we could reduce poverty and increase social mobility.

    But this problem, like most social problems, is hard. The big federal early childhood program, Head Start, has been chugging along since 1965, and the outcomes are dismal. Russ Whitehurst of the Brookings Institution summarizes the findings of the most rigorous research: “There is no measurable advantage to children in elementary school of having participated in Head Start. Further, children attending Head Start remain far behind academically once they are in elementary school. Head Start does not improve the school readiness of children from low-income families.”

    Fortunately, that is not the end of the story. Over the past several years, there’s been a flurry of activity, as states and private groups put together better early childhood programs. In these programs, the teachers are better trained. There are more rigorous performance standards. The curriculum is better matched to the one the children will find when they enter kindergarten.

    These state programs, in places like Oklahoma, Georgia and New Jersey, have not been studied as rigorously as Head Start. There are huge quality differences between different facilities in the same state or the same town. The best experts avoid sweeping conclusions. Nonetheless, there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that these state programs can make at least an incremental difference in preparing children for school and in getting parents to be more engaged in their kids’ education.

    These programs do not perform miracles, but incremental improvements add up year by year and produce significantly better lives.

    Enter President Obama. This week he announced the most ambitious early childhood education expansion in decades. Early Thursday morning, early education advocates were sending each other ecstatic e-mails. They were stunned by the scope of what Obama is proposing.

    But, on this subject, it’s best to be hardheaded. So I spent Wednesday and Thursday talking with experts and administration officials, trying to be skeptical. Does the president’s plan merely expand the failing federal effort or does it focus on quality and reform? Is the president trying to organize a bloated centralized program or is he trying to be a catalyst for local experimentation?

    So far the news is very good. Obama is trying to significantly increase the number of kids with access to early education. The White House will come up with a dedicated revenue stream that will fund early education projects without adding to the deficit. These federal dollars will be used to match state spending, giving states, many of whom want to move aggressively, further incentive to expand and create programs.

    But Washington’s main role will be to measure outcomes, not determine the way states design their operations. Washington will insist that states establish good assessment tools. They will insist that pre-K efforts align with the K-12 system. But beyond that, states will have a lot of latitude.

    Should early education centers be integrated with K-12 school buildings or not? Should the early childhood teachers be unionized or certified? Obama officials say they want to leave those sorts of questions up to state experimentation. “I’m just about building quality,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan told me. The goal is to make the federal oversight as simple as possible.

    That’s crucial. There’s still a lot we don’t know about how to educate children that young. The essential thing is to build systems that can measure progress, learn and adapt to local circumstances. Over time, many children will migrate from Head Start into state programs.

    This is rude to say, but here’s what this is about: Millions of parents don’t have the means, the skill or, in some cases, the interest in building their children’s future. Early childhood education is about building structures so both parents and children learn practical life skills. It’s about getting kids from disorganized homes into rooms with kids from organized homes so good habits will rub off. It’s about instilling achievement values where they are absent.

    President Obama has taken on a big challenge in a realistic and ambitious way. If Republicans really believe in opportunity and local control, they will get on board.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/15/opinion/brooks-crayons-to-college.html?hp

     

     




    I'm on board.  Obama is a big charter school fan, as am I - but the Teacher's Unions HATE them.

     

    Interesting how when republicans call Head Start a "dismal failure", they hate kids, but when an article in support of Obama says exactly that, well, everything is not just cool, but brilliant!



    Charter schools cater to a minority of focused kids. Even so, their success rate is hardly universal.  Look at what happened in Gloucester.  They are not the answer to educating all our kids.  Massachusetts has a good educational record.  The vast majority of the schools are unionized.  You had success for your kids in your charter school.  Swell.  My kids excelled at a basic public high school, my school, a school that has a lot of SPED kids and some homeless kids. We have an 85% rate college rate for all kids from a range of backgrounds.  Charter schools are trendy, but it is basicly boutique education and not an answer to our real need to educate all kids adequately.  And you don't have to be in a union to know that...

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from massmoderateJoe. Show massmoderateJoe's posts

    Re: Early Childhood Education

    I listened to a good discussion of President Obama's call for universal pre-kendergarten for all and the enormous payback of $1 invested yields $7 pay back.  Well that may no be the case, and at least its highly overstated as the numbers don't add up.

    There is just a 4 minute audio link, no transcript yet.

    Is The Call For Universal Pre-Kindergarten Warranted?

    LINDA WERTHEIMER and SHANKAR VEDANTAM

    February 18, 2013  4:00 AM   Listen to the Story

    Morning Edition

    4 min 10 sec

    Enthusiasm for universal Pre-K education is at an all-time high, and President Obama wants to massively increase the ranks of young children in schools and early learning centers. Some studies have shown significant and long-lasting benefits of early stimulation for children.

     

    http://www.npr.org/2013/02/18/172298073/is-the-call-for-universal-pre-kindergaren-warranted

     

     

     
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