The impact of early childhood education is undeniable. Recent studies indicate that programs for children under five can significantly decrease special education placement and grade retention, close achievement gaps, and increase high school graduation rates. States see this value too: Forty-three states and the District of Columbia provide state-funded preschool, serving nearly 1.5 million children. Yet access to high-quality early education across the country remains uneven, and many children still enter elementary school unprepared. The new issue of NASBE’s award-winning journal, The State Education Standard, explores ways state policymakers can ensure all children have a strong start.
Looking Back, Looking Forward: Tracing the Arc of Early Childhood Policy
A 30-year-old NASBE task force on early education still holds water, even as the context and concerns of the field have shifted.
By Lori Connors-Tadros and Madelyn Gardner
Transforming the Early Care and Education Workforce
It’s time to improve care for the youngest learners by improving preparation and support for those who teach them.
By Sara Vecchiotti
States Pave the Way for Smoother Transitions to Kindergarten
Four states back statewide initiatives to make sure children are ready for kindergarten.
By Aaron Loewenberg
Fully Funding Pre-K through K-12 Funding Formulas
While just 11 states have tried it, inclusion of state-funded pre-K in the school funding formula may well be the best option for extending access to more children.
By W. Steven Barnett and Richard Kasmin
Serving Young Dual Language Learners in Illinois
Illinois puts the accent on interagency collaboration to achieve linguistically and culturally appropriate instruction.
By Luisiana Meléndez and Patricia Chamberlain
Leveraging Early Childhood Data for Better Decision Making
Most states now have the tools they need to make good decisions for early learners. Now they need to learn how to use them.
By Philip Sirinides and Missy Coffey