Early Childhood

Report Finds Improvement in Pre-K Area

By Linda Jacobson — March 20, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Several states in the past year have raised their standards for public preschool programs, according to the fourth annual “report card” on state-financed early-childhood education by the National Institute for Early Education Research.

The report, released last week, says that 19 programs in 16 states made policy changes that allowed them to reach more of the 10 quality benchmarks set by the New Brunswick, N.J.-based organization for the 2005-06 school year.

The authors call the states’ actions “a remarkable single-year improvement.”

The pre-K programs in Alabama and North Carolina met all 10 of NIEER’s benchmarks, which include providing comprehensive services, requiring teachers to have a bachelor’s degree, and serving at least one meal. Both states reached nine of the benchmarks in the previous report.

“The State of Preschool 2006: State Preschool Yearbook” is available from the National Institute for Early Education Research.

Changes made in other states included the development of early-learning standards, the addition of vision, hearing, and health screenings, and an in-service-training requirement for teachers.

The report, however, also points to what the authors say are some troubling developments. Though total state spending on pre-K increased by $380 million in the 2005-06 school year—up to almost $3.3 billion—states were spending on average less per child. That figure declined from $3,855 in 2004-05 to $3,482 last year.

“States face constant temptation to increase the number of children served without a proportionate increase in expenditure,” the report says. “When enrollment increases outpace funding growth, states run the risk that effectiveness will deteriorate.”

Nationally, enrollment in state pre-K programs climbed to more than 940,000 children, and there was a 19 percent increase in the enrollment of 4-year-olds, which was attributed largely to Florida’s new, statewide pre-K program. The program served more than 100,000 children in its first year.

While a few states, such as Illinois, have made a commitment to serve both 3- and 4-year-olds, most state pre-K programs continue to focus predominantly on 4-year-olds. But the report notes that research showing that preschool has long-term benefits for society stems from programs that served children 3 or even younger.

A version of this article appeared in the March 21, 2007 edition of Education Week as Report Finds Improvement in Pre-K Area

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
IT Management Webinar
Build a Digitally Responsive Educational Organization for Effective Digital-Age Learning
Chart a guided pathway to digital agility and build support for your organization’s mission and vision through dialogue and collaboration.
Content provided by Bluum
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Data Webinar
Drive Instruction With Mastery-Based Assessment
Deliver the right data at the right time—in the right format—and empower better decisions.
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Profession Webinar
How Does Educator Well-Being Impact Social-Emotional Awareness in Schools?
Explore how adult well-being is key to promoting healthy social-emotional behaviors for students. Get strategies to reduce teacher stress.
Content provided by International Baccalaureate

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Early Childhood Pandemic Kids Need Early Language Support. Here's How Teachers Can Help
Preschool teachers share their ideas for promoting students' language growth.
3 min read
A Birmingham, Ala., preschool teacher works with a student wearing a "talk pedometer," which records child and adult vocalizations, as part of the school-based LENA Grow program. Teachers receive report on how much talk and interaction each child experiences in a day of recording.
A Birmingham, Ala., preschool teacher works with a student wearing a "talk pedometer," which records child and adult vocalizations, as part of the school-based LENA Grow program. Teachers receive reports on how much talk and interaction each child experiences in a day of recording.
Courtesy of LENA Foundation
Early Childhood What the Research Says Babies Are Saying Less Since the Pandemic: Why That's Concerning
Children born in the pandemic have heard fewer words and conversations. Their language development has suffered.
5 min read
Illustration of woman and boy talking.
<br/>BRO Vector/Getty
Early Childhood What the Research Says Early Education Pays Off. A New Study Shows How
Students from state-funded universal preschool, but not federal Head Start, took more-challenging courses in high school, a study finds.
4 min read
Image of a teacher and preschool students.
E+
Early Childhood Quiz Quiz Yourself: How Much Do You Know About Early Learning?
Answer 7 questions to discover how much you know about early learning.