If you missed our webinar, “What is Data-Driven Professional Development and Why Does It Work”, you can watch the full recording here. Rebecca Berlin, Scott Siegfried, and Padma Rajan covered how they use data to improve child outcomes.
One cold evening, as January passed into February, I sat down to review over 20 different sources that summarized President Obama’s budget and the probability for the multitude of initiatives to be funded in the budget’s final version. What follows is a consolidated overview of the points I think will be most relevant for our readers. Remember, these are just budget proposals that have been outlined and are not guaranteed until the final budget has been passed. I have ordered the items based on my belief (and only my belief) of their probability for being included in the final budget.
“Of course!” That was the reaction of many in the field of early childhood when the Head Start Reauthorization of 2007 (Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act) highlighted a critical component of high quality early childhood education by requiring the federal Office of Head Start (OHS) to include a reliable and valid way of observing and measuring teacher-child interactions in its program monitoring. Early childhood educators know, first-hand, how the individual, minute interactions between a teacher and child can serve as the foundation for strong relationships that have the power to change the lives of children at-risk of a host of lifelong challenges caused by poverty.
Program leaders’ understanding of what it means to provide quality teaching has changed quite a bit over the past twenty-five years. A focus on quality used to mean providing a safe place for children to play with plenty of stimulating materials and books to read. Now that most programs provide these basics in their early childhood classrooms, our focus has shifted from the what to the how of quality.
Since I joined Teachstone over three years ago, I have eagerly listened to the State of the Union Address—always with a hopeful mind and heart—waiting to hear the mission of high quality early childhood education woven into the framework of the annual speech. As a teacher, a faculty member, a researcher, a mother, and now a leader in an education company, I know the difference that high quality education focused on the early childhood years can make, and I am committed to doing everything in my power to move this mission forward. I now use the Address as a barometer for measuring the priority level early childhood education has within the national platform for the year that follows.
As I reflected on yesterday's momentous day for early childhood education in the US, several key quotes and ideas stuck in my mind from the many eloquent speakers I heard. They happen to fit nicely into an acrostic poem (INTERACTIONS):
We are thrilled to have Marcy Whitebook, PhD, join us again in response to her recent whitepaper "Worthy Work, STILL Unlivable Wages".Marcy began her career as a teacher of young children in the 1970s. Over the last four decades, she has been engaged in research, public education, policy development, training, and advocacy efforts focused on the early care and education workforce. She now directs the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) at the University of California, Berkeley.