Regardless of the various journeys we take or paths we find ourselves on when we discover CLASS, we all believe in the power of interactions to change children’s lives. While our focus is on classrooms (broadly defined), as educators and passionate education advocates we believe in the right of all children to experience nurturing interactions, both inside and outside any classroom walls.
Our beliefs are grounded in vast knowledge and a wealth of science. Given this knowledge of the impact of those interactions, especially between children and their primary caregivers, I recognize a responsibility to speak up. I’m far from alone. Today, the U.S. Senate, led by the Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY), said the Senate, in a bipartisan approach, will not remain idle or quiet while children are separated from their parents or caregivers at our country’s borders, disrupting the most fundamental bonds and putting young children and their healthy development in grave peril.
So often with my early childhood advocacy work, I turn to one of our largest, strongest advocacy organizations, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, NAEYC. Please read their blog and let me know your thoughts and ideas.
On a hot summer day in July 2016, I had the good fortune of being the one not on vacation on our small policy and research team. Instead, I went to DC to serve as Teachstone’s representative for a convening of policymakers, researchers, and ECE practitioners. They were gathering to discuss if and how exemplary Head Start grantees might be identified for Leading by Exemplar, an initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and led by Bellwether Education Partners.
Decades of evidence indicate that high-quality early childhood education positively affects children. Yet studies reveal that too few programs implement high-quality programming. To date, improvement efforts have primarily focused on what occurs within the classroom. The Ounce of Prevention Fund (Ounce), in partnership with the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research (UChicago Consortium), strives to broaden the focus of improvement efforts beyond the classroom to organizational conditions that support teachers and the relationships among staff, children, and families.
If you’ve been following the news lately, a lot is going on in North Carolina for young children and families! Leaders across the state—from businesses to state government to county municipalities—are leveraging partnerships that use research-based assessment and professional development models (like CLASS) to guarantee more of the state’s youngest residents have access to the high quality care they need and deserve.