Moving the Agenda on the Early Learning Challenge
With the recent announcement of a $500 million Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge, or RTT-ELC, commitment by the federal government, American early education has taken a huge step forward.
After several rounds of disappointment, most early educators are celebrating the challenge. And why not? For the first time in our national history, two federal agencies (the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services) are coming together to administer a bold, significant, and innovative effort that will meaningfully support the development of an early-learning system for children from birth to age 5.
Smartly, it focuses on elements best known for producing sustained outcomes for children and most necessary for system-building (e.g., evidence-based systems of professional development, aligned standards for early learning and development, age and developmentally appropriate curriculum and assessment systems, family engagement, a focus on health and safety, and a system of screening and referrals). It reverses decades of underinvestment in children prior to their formal entry into school. It positions American early-childhood education globally by acknowledging that the task of government is to provision not simply for programs, but for their quality and equitable distribution across populations. As such, the intentions of the Early Learning Challenge command and deserve praise and support. Federal officials’ goal is to release RTT-ELC grant applications later this summer and to award funding by the end of the year. ( "States Face Challenges in Early-Ed. Race to Top Scramble," ...
This article is available to subscribers only.
To keep reading this article and more, subscribe now or start a 2-week FREE trial.
Access selected articles, e-newsletters and more!
- Elementary Principal
- Forest Grove School District, Forest Grove, OR
- Princeton Public School District, Princeton, NJ
- Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction
- Lake Forest School District 67 & 115, Lake Forest, IL
- Director of School Support
- The Achievement Network, Multiple Locations
- Assistant/Associate Professor, Literacy
- Regis University, Denver, CO