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A monthly dissemination of research and policy updates about developments in the Pre-K–3 field

May 2014artwork-4

Message from the Field

"We know that the ability to learn in large part relies on the earliest experiences of life. It is now a national economic development imperative that we provide the highest-quality early childhood development possible. Doing so is not an expense but rather the most important investment possible in the American future."

— Deborah Hicks Midanek, President, Solon Group, Inc.; Chairman, Prevail Fund, Inc.; Chairman, Grenada Community Foundation; Trustee, Committee for Economic Development

New from ECS

Register for the 2014 ECS National Forum
Join us for the ECS National Forum on Education Policy, June 30 through July 2 in Washington, D.C., where exciting early learning sessions focused on the inequities in kindergarten, science in the early years and kindergarten entry assessments will be featured. Register here.


Tell Us Why Early Childhood Education is Important!
The Early Learning Institute at ECS is looking for personal stories from the public that illustrate the importance of providing a high quality early education. Stories will be featured in future ECS P-3 Newsletters. Make submissions to Emily Workman at

What's Happening in the States

Pre-K Expansion
Maryland: Gov. Martin O'Malley signed into law the Pre-Kindergarten Expansion Act of 2014 earlier this year that expands high-quality pre-kindergarten to more families across the state through a competitive grant program called the Pre-kindergarten Expansion Grant Program and Fund. With $4.3 million included in the FY15 budget to help expand and start programs across the state.

Exemptions for Third-Grade Retention
Oklahoma: A bill became law after being vetoed by the governor and overridden by the legislature that gives parents and educators the joint ability to promote a student who fails the 3rd grade reading test.

Good Reads

Effectively Utilizing Formative Assessments
This policy report from the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) provides a guide and framework to policymakers considering formative assessments in early childhood settings. The guide provides a practical roadmap for decision-makers by offering several key questions to consider in the process of selecting, supporting and using data to inform and improve instruction.

Technology in the Early Years
This brief from the New American Foundation lays out the beginnings of a new architecture for 21st century policymaking by encouraging policymakers to pay attention to the way today’s young children use technologies and media, and to tailor policies to ensure that educators are prepared to help them. The author argues that by doing so, policymakers can promote environments that give 21st century learners every chance to succeed.

Pre-K Funding Up But Enrollment Stalled
The recently released 2013 edition of the National Institute of Early Education Research's (NIEER) State of Preschool Yearbook presents detailed profiles outlining each state's policies with respect to preschool access, quality standards and resources for the 2012-13 program year in addition to a summary of the data and a description of national trends for enrollment in, quality of, and spending on state-funded preschool.

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