Challenges Lie Ahead for Early-Learning Grant Winners
Nine states pledge to improve youngsters’ education
The nine states splitting $500 million in Race to the Top early-learning grants must now deliver on a slate of ambitious promises to improve the quality of early-childhood education for tens of thousands of low-income children who rely on a patchwork of publicly financed child-care and preschool programs.
By awarding millions of federal dollars to the states with winning bids for the Early Learning Challenge grants, the U.S. Department of Education is providing opportunity for—and exerting high-profile pressure on—California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Washington state to prepare more of their low-income and at-risk children for success as they enter kindergarten.
The states in the winners’ circle—27 other states and the District of Columbia also competed but did not win grants—face many challenges as they try to put into practice their pledges to set standards, improve teacher quality, assess school...
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