Around the country, advocates for education equity are paying increased attention to the critical importance of early math skills. Driven by research showing that foundational math knowledge is even more predictive of later school success than literacy, a growing movement is focused on promoting young children’s math skills in both early care settings and at home. In order to improve equity in early math learning for all students, it is essential for this movement to understand and address the particular needs of dual language learners (DLLs).
After pandemic slowed progress, Mayor Lightfoot creates group to improve Chicago’s early education system
Eighteen months after taking office, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is making a move to unify the city’s fragmented early childhood system, which has been pummeled by funding changes, leadership departures, and the pandemic. On Thursday, the mayor’s office said it is taking the first steps toward developing a broader plan that could be a hallmark of her administration. The plan could lead to improved access to child care and public health resources for Chicago’s 160,000 infants, toddlers, and children under age 5, something Lightfoot had pledged to do during her campaign.
Analysis: For Kids to Learn and Parents to Keep Their Jobs, We Need to Bring Child Care to the Remote-Learning Table
Despite educators’ hard work across the country, one thing is missing in many state and local school efforts to make remote learning a success. Specifically, the recognition that for many working parents, full-time remote learning makes it difficult or impossible for them to do their jobs. So they rely on afterschool and child care programs, home-based child care providers, and neighbors and relatives down the street to pitch in. These caregivers are the adults who will be helping children with their remote learning each day. Yet too little is being done to engage and support them. Has grandma received enough training to operate Microsoft Teams or Zoom breakout rooms? Does the home-based child care provider have access to materials from the teacher, or to the high-speed internet needed for videoconferencing? Does the afterschool provider know how to reach teachers if there is a problem? Will the gulf between the haves and have-nots widen as these caregivers struggle without support to help children learn?
The Century Foundation announced The Bridges Collaborative, a grassroots effort to improve racial and socioeconomic integration and equity that involves 56 organizations, including 27 school districts of various sizes, geographies and student demographics. Several charter schools and housing organizations will work with the school districts to build support for integration efforts and serve as a resource center for successful approaches. Strategies already used by schools to promote diverse student populations include establishing magnet schools and open enrollment programs, adopting new feeder school patterns and building new schools designed to be diverse.