early childhood education

WAMC

     An effort is under way in one western Massachusetts city to get young children to pick up a book, or two, before they head back to school in a few weeks. 

WAMC

Federal funds are paying for an expansion of pre-school programs in Springfield, Massachusetts, where children from poor families have historically struggled academically and dropped out before graduating from high school.

A $2 million federal grant will open 11 additional Head Start classrooms for infants and toddlers from low- income families in Springfield.  Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal, who announced the funding, praised Head Start as a last vestige from the Great Society programs of the 1960s.

WAMC

The second largest public school system in Massachusetts is expanding early childhood education through what officials say is a unique partnership with the private sector.

A new free preschool in Springfield is currently enrolling eligible 4-year-old children for classes that will start next month.  There are approximately 300 openings in the Springfield Cooperative Preschool, which is being run collaboratively by the public schools, Head Start, the Square One organization, and the YMCA of Greater Springfield.  

Courtesy of Mid-Hudson Children's Museum

A project for early childhood education involves a museum in the Hudson Valley.

Education advocates across New York are calling for a ban on standardized testing in pre-K through second grade.

Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, kicked off a Thursday conference call to launch a  statewide petition drive to stop expansion of standardized tests in children’s early years.

The petition comes as the union continues to call for a three-year moratorium on using tests aligned to the rigorous Common Core standards for “high stakes” decisions affecting teachers and students.

© 2013 The Annie E. Casey Foundation

A new report released Monday says investing in the first eight years of a child's life pays big dividends, and that’s especially true for New York kids 8 and younger who come from low-income families.

At a time when debate over the Common Core is front and center, pro-education groups are out with a new plan offering a roadmap for full-day universal prekindergarten in New York State.

The Center for Children’s Initiatives and the Campaign for Educational Equity have unveiled a statewide plan that offers a financial strategy that recognizes pre-K as an essential educational service, while providing a plan to phase in pre-K to the state's 3- and 4-year-olds over the next eight years.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

New York Congressman Paul Tonko visited a Head Start Program in Schenectady today to draw attention to the effects of sequestration on community services.

Congressman Tonko visited Parsons Child & Family Center’s Early Head Start program in Schenectady, which serves families with children up to 3 years living at or below the federal poverty level.

Dave Lucas / WAMC

As another school year comes to a close, education and education funding remain among the top concerns for parents, teachers and public officials.

President Barack Obama's “Early Learning Days of Action” initiative was highlighted in New York last week as Congressman Paul Tonko read to 16 children enrolled in what's called "The Butterfly Class" at Albany Head Start. The pre-K students were delighted with Tonko's chosen work: "Welcome To Kindergarten" by Anne Rockwell.

BOSTON (AP) — A state review has found no "serious wrongdoing" by former early education commissioner Sherri Killins, who participated in an internship outside of her state job.

But Education Secretary Matt Malone says some administrative procedures apparently were not followed.

Killins stepped down from her post earlier this week amid questions about whether her participation in the school superintendent training program, which required her to spend 300 hours in the town of Ware, was distracting from her ability to perform her nearly $200,000-a-year state job.

WAMC

Members of the Massachusetts Legislature have begun a series of public hearings on Governor Deval Patrick’s $34.8 billion dollar budget proposal.  A hearing, run by the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Ways and Means was held at Greenfield Community College on Tuesday. The focus of the session was on education and local aid.