Quality early-childhood education has been on the top of the policy agenda around the country, and Education Week is using this year’s Quality Counts report—"Preparing to Launch: Early Childhood’s Academic Countdown"—to explore just how states are measuring up against each other, and to tell the stories behind the numbers. The special issue was published Jan. 8.
- Looking for the nitty-gritty details about your state’s early-education performance? This issue looks at indicators such as preschool and kindergarten enrollment rates, Head Start participation and preschool poverty gaps.
- Want to know how one elementary school is resisting the tug to make kindergarten more academic and less playful? Jefferson Elementary School in Rockland, Mass., has worked to keep the water tables, play kitchens and puppet theaters in its kindergarten classrooms, while keeping the focus on developing literacy and other preacademic skills.
- Interested in knowing how far early-education research has come since the days of Perry Preschool? Neuroscientists are making amazing discoveries about how children learn—discoveries that have implications for how they are taught.
- Daunted by the appropriate use of technology in preschool and the early elementary grades? This multimedia presentation gives advice from expert and takes you into the classroom to show children using the devices.
And that’s just a sample of all you’ll find in this issue. Read, learn, discuss, and let’s continue the conversation.
Emma Sidders, 4, works on a project at a “curiosity station” at SPARK! Discovery Preschool in Frederick, Colo. Exercises such as those with gumdrops and toothpicks help build fine motor skils and basic understanding of structures and shapes.—Nathan W. Armes for Education Week
A version of this news article first appeared in the Early Years blog.