The Early and Elementary Education Policy unit at New America is hosting a panel event on the release of my new study, “All Children Learn and Thrive: Building First 10 Schools and Communities.” The live-streamed event will take place in Washington, DC on April 30.
Laura Bornfreund of New America is organizing the event and will introduce the panel, which will be moderated by Christina Samuels of Education Week. Deborah Stipek (Stanford University) and Kwesi Rollins (Institute for Education Leadership) will provide expert commentary on the study. Three leaders from communities described in the report will share their experiences implementing innovative initiatives to improve teaching, learning, and care throughout the first decade of children’s lives:
- Brooke Chilton-Timmons
Youth and Families Services Division, SUN Service System, Multnomah County, Oregon
- Lei-Anne Ellis
Cambridge Birth–3rd Grade Partnership, Cambridge Public Schools, Massachusetts
- Criselda Lopez Anderson
Buffett Early Childhood Institute, Omaha, Nebraska
You can learn more about the event and RSVP here. Hope to see you there.
The P-3 Learning Hub is changing its name. We are now called First 10.
For the past two years I have been working on a study funded by the Heising-Simons Foundation. The study investigates community initiatives that combine improving teaching and learning in the early grades with strong family partnerships and comprehensive services—all underpinned by a deep commitment to educational equity. The study provided a great opportunity to talk with community leaders in 18 communities throughout the country and conduct site visits to six of them. The innovative work these communities are doing is inspiring.
My experience learning about these communities has convinced me that we need a new name for this powerful combination of strategies. Further, the name needs to communicate the importance of collaboration between school districts, elementary schools, and other early childhood organizations and programs. As I explain here, I follow Arthur Reynolds and Judy Temple in defining early childhood as roughly the first decade of life, and with this in mind I call these important community initiatives First 10 Schools and Communities.
The study will be released on April 30 at a live-streamed panel event at New America in Washington, DC. (I will post the invitation to the event next.)
The report includes 7 key findings regarding First 10 initiatives. Informed by the experiences of the communities I profile in the study, I propose a new theory of action that outlines the roles that First 10 Schools and Communities can play to improve teaching, learning, and care in the first decade of children’s lives.
Moving forward, this website and the related research and technical assistance projects my colleagues and I do will focus on supporting First 10 initiatives. (And by the way, the url you have been using will continue to work, but our primary domain is now first10.org.)
Early childhood expert and UVA dean, Robert Pianta, in The Hill:
“There is precious little evidence that boosts from pre-k are then followed by boosts in kindergarten, first, and second grades – the kind of cumulative impact that produces lasting increases in academic achievement.
More to the point, focusing so intently on universal pre-K obscures the fact that most pre-K (and K-2) programs still require a lot of improvements when it comes to curriculum, assessment, and effective instruction. And perhaps more importantly, there is abundant evidence that the experiences provided to children across these years are poorly aligned, resulting in repetition of instruction that hold some of our children back.
So let’s stop thinking that pre-k, universal or targeted, is the silver bullet answer. And for every argument about expanding or improving pre-k, let’s add a focus on strengthening and aligning curricula across the early grades, which spans from pre-K through third grade. Young students need a consistent trajectory of educational experiences that builds on the preceding years—and informs what follows.”
For the full article, see Running on a New Promise for Pre-K.
Woohoo, Lancaster County, PA! What Friedman doesn’t say is that Lancaster County is gearing up for a comprehensive P-3 initiative. More to come about the Lancaster County approach to comprehensive P-3 in the coming months. For the connection between the kind of bi-partisan, place-based collective impact initiative Friedman describes and early childhood/P-3, see A Purple Agenda for (Early) Education.
The National P-3 Center is launching a new publication series, Framework in Action. Each brief in this helpful new series includes a short digest of the research, suggested starting points, common implementation pitfalls, indicators of progress, and examples of promising efforts and success stories.
The Center’s Director, Kristie Kauerz, provides the following introduction:
“The first in the series – Framework in Action: Administrator Effectiveness – addresses the important roles and responsibilities of elementary principals, Early Care and Education directors/managers (from PreK, Head Start, and child care), and other district-level or program-level administrators. Much attention, both positive and negative, has been paid to administrators’ effectiveness in supporting young children’s learning and in building alignment between the traditionally disparate systems of birth-to-five and K-12.
The Framework in Action series expands on the Framework for Planning, Implementing, and Evaluating P-3 Approaches (Kauerz & Coffman, 2013) and provides brief research reviews, practical strategies, and guidance for creating meaningful and tangible change in communities. Each Framework in Action corresponds with one of the eight buckets of alignment effort identified as essential to high-quality and comprehensive P-3 approaches.
A Framework in Action that corresponds with each of the remaining seven buckets will be released throughout the remainder of the year.”
Marc Tucker on David Driscoll’s new book about the Massachusetts experience and on 9 Building Blocks of World Class Education Systems. Fully agree that David Driscoll “is such a decent, caring human being, overflowing with that most uncommon quality: common sense as well as a vast horde of carefully considered experience.”
See the 9 Building Blocks, including numbers 1 and 2.
Just out in Kappan magazine:
“In many cities and towns across the United States, elementary schools are forging deeper partnerships with families and community organizations well before children arrive at kindergarten. The aim of this work is to improve children’s experiences and family engagement and support along the entire continuum from prenatal care through grade 3 and beyond.
This potent combination of educational supports and family services is the single best strategy we have to address pernicious opportunity gaps and raise achievement for low-income children. Communities such as Cincinnati, Ohio; Omaha, Neb., and Multnomah County, Ore., are embracing this approach to tackle persistent poverty, family instability, the hollowing out of the middle class, and the demand for a more highly skilled workforce.”
You can find the full article here.
In case you had trouble accessing my recent commentary in Education Week, Preschool Matters Today has now re-published it: A Purple Agenda for (Early) Education.
I’m pleased to share my commentary in today’s Education Week, “A Purple Agenda for (Early) Education (print edition title).” It begins:
“Education policy has become as polarized as the rest of American politics. In the new administration, disagreements over standards, funding, school choice, and students’ civil rights are sure to intensify. Yet despite this polarized state of affairs, liberal and conservative education priorities are converging in a number of important respects, driven in part by mounting research findings. Common ground is emerging where conservative commitments to character formation, strong families, and local solutions meet liberal commitments to services that help low-income families overcome obstacles to improving their quality of life.
Borrowing a term from the Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam, I suggest that a number of educational priorities, described below, are “purple”—they resonate with both red and blue constituencies. Further, these priorities animate a powerful reform movement that is spreading across the country ….”
I have strengthened the language around family engagement and support in the principles for effective P-3 partnerships and the associated theory of action graphic. You will see that I drew on a consolidated version of the renowned Head Start family and community engagement outcomes, which I think are right on-point and fit well within the context of the P-3 theory of action. Check out the Overview and/or the Full Explanation (a 12-minute read). Many thanks to my EDC colleague, Heidi Rosenberg, for her helpful suggestions.
Also see Melissa Dahlin’s article at New America’s EdCentral: All in the Family: Supporting Students through Family Engagement in ESSA.