Language Counts: Supporting Early Math Development for Dual Language Learners

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).

Persistence and Convergence: The End of Kindergarten Outcomes of Pre-K Graduates and Their Nonattending Peers

The present investigation examined the benefits of pre-K through the end of kindergarten for children from low-income homes who lived in a large and diverse county (n 2,581) as well as factors associated with a reduction in benefits during the kindergarten year. Results revealed that pre-K graduates outperformed nonattenders in the areas of achievement and executive functioning skills at the end of kindergarten, and also that the benefits of pre-K at the start of the year diminished by a little more than half. This convergence between groups’ performance was largest for more constrained skills, such as letter-word identification, and was attributed to the fact that nonattenders made greater gains in kindergarten as compared with graduates of pre-K.

Early Lessons from Schools and Out-of-School Time Programs Implementing Social and Emotional Learning

This report presents findings from the first two years of the Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning Initiative, a multi-year Wallace-supported effort exploring whether and how children can benefit from partnerships between schools and out-of-school-time (OST) programs focused on building social and emotional skills. Coming at a time when interest in social-emotional learning is outstripping empirical guidance about how to carry out programs and practices, the report covers the early work of six communities that have gone about incorporating social and emotional learning programs and practices into the school and OST parts of the day: Boston, Dallas, Denver, Palm Beach County in Florida, Tacoma and Tulsa.

Introducing CogX: A New Preschool Education Program Combining Parent and Child Interventions

We present the results of a novel early childhood intervention in which disadvantaged 3- 4-year-old children were randomized to receive a new preschool and parent education program focused on cognitive and non-cognitive skills (CogX) or to a control group that did not receive preschool education. In addition to a typical academic year (nine-month) program, we also evaluated a shortened summer version of the program (two months) in which children were treated immediately prior to the start of kindergarten. Both programs, including the shortened version, significantly improved cognitive test scores by about one quarter of a standard deviation relative to the control group at the end of the year. The shortened version of the program was equally as effective as the academic- year program because most of the gains in the academic-year program occurred within the first few months.

Elementary School Principals’ Professional Learning: Current Status and Future Needs

School principals are essential for ensuring that students have access to strong educational opportunities. They shape a vision of academic success for all students; create a climate hospitable to education; cultivate leadership in others so that teachers and other adults feel empowered to realize their schools’ visions; guide instructional decisions that improve teaching and learning; and manage people, data, and processes to foster school improvement. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and its revelation of stark inequities in educational opportunity, the role of the principal has become even more critical in meeting students’ needs.

Equity is Advanced When Principles for High-Quality Early Learning are Developmentally Appropriate, Culturally Relevant, and Linguistically Responsive

New research from The City College of New York (CUNY) and Teachers College at Columbia University illustrates seven principles of practice that offer an expanded definition for “high-quality early learning.” They recognize the promise and possibility of children’s lives, ensuring that the lived experiences of those who have historically been underserved and the growing numbers of multilingual children and children of color in our country are represented in their learning environments. This research was informed by a cross-disciplinary effort that brings together the study of child development and the science of early learning, culturally responsive/relevant pedagogy, and multilingual development, laying the groundwork for better communication between early childhood educators and child development experts and improving practice as a result.

50-State Comparison: Early Care and Education Governance

This 50-State Comparison provides data on states’ early care and education governance systems, with a focus on the agencies that oversee these programs, the level of alignment of these programs and the advisory entities for early care and education in the state. Education Commission of the States has researched the policies and regulations that guide these key components in all 50 states to provide this comprehensive resource. Click on the questions below for 50-State Comparisons, showing how all states approach specific policies, or view a specific state’s approach by going to the individual state profiles page.

Dallas sees strides in social and emotional learning study

Fewer disciplinary referrals, fewer absences and a more positive campus environment. Those are just three of the early optimistic findings from the Dallas contingent taking part in a six-year study on social-emotional learning. Dallas is one of six communities nationwide participating in the Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning Initiative (PSELI) from Rand Education and Labor and the Wallace Foundation, which are helping gather data to see how schools and out-of-school-time (OST) partners can collaborate on SEL skill building.

Supporting the Implementation of High-Quality Early Childhood Curricula in Preschool Programs

More children spend time in preschool now than a decade ago, but not all of them get educational programs of the same quality. Putting new, supplementary curricula in place at multiple schools poses a special challenge to preschool administrators, and this brief, based on 15 years of MDRC research, summarizes principles for making effective curricular changes to bolster classroom quality, instructional practices, and children’s skills. The lessons focus on three elements: a well-articulated, supplemental classroom curriculum focused on instruction in a specific domain; robust professional development, including ongoing teacher training led by certified trainers and in-classroom coaching to support teachers; and real-time data monitoring with data-driven technical assistance and decision-making to support teachers.

How an Oregon Measure for Universal Preschool Could Be a National Model

On Election Day, Multnomah County, which includes Portland, Ore., passed one of the most progressive universal preschool policies in the nation. The measure, to be paid for by a large tax on high earners, will provide free preschool for all children ages 3 and 4, in public schools and in existing and new private preschools and home-based child care centers. It will also significantly raise teachers’ wages so they are equivalent to those of kindergarten teachers.

A Framework and Resources for Measuring Student Needs and Development During Remote and Blended Learning

The abrupt shift to remote learning in the spring of 2020 coupled with existing systemic inequities and varied access to technology led to inconsistent, and in some cases nonexistent, contact between students and schools. As a result, many schools had a limited understanding of the needs and development of individual students, and districts and the state had an incomplete picture of the conditions of their constituencies. As Illinois moves forward through the crisis over the course of the 2020-2021 school year, educators and system leaders have the opportunity
to design stronger information gathering systems for measuring engagement, social-emotional and physical needs, and academic progress to adapt to the new contexts of remote and blended learning so that they are better able to make informed decisions to support student needs.