The National Center for Research on Early Childhood Education (NCRECE) has published a short brief (NCRECE In Focus, v.1, no.1) that looks at how different research findings related to the characteristics of high quality early childhood classrooms fit together and what makes the greatest difference in promoting school readiness in young children. It is available online at http://ncrece.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/NCRECEInFocus_v1n1.pdf
Pre-K Now has published a new report, which finds that teachers with at least a bachelor's degree and specialized training in early childhood are best able to promote the development of the cognitive and social/emotional skills young children need to be ready for kindergarten. The report also highlights state models for increasing teacher quality. A Matter of Degrees: Preparing Teachers for the Pre-K Classroom (March 2010), by Marisa Bueno, Linda Darling-Hammond and Danielle Gonzales, can be accessed online at http://www.pewtrusts.org/our_work_report_detail.aspx?id=57676&category=92
This month's radio segment from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) features Holly Elissa Bruno, an author, teacher, and keynote speaker in early childhood education leadership, and former Assistant Attorney General for Maine. Ms. Bruno discusses the reasons behind high teacher turnover in early childhood education and what can be done to retain teachers. To listen to the segment, go to http://www.naeyc.org/newsroom/NAEYCradio
A new resource guide to support service providers in their work to strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect is now available online. The guide includes information about protective factors that help reduce the risk of child maltreatment, strategies for changing how communities support families, evidence-informed practices, tip sheets in English and Spanish, and more. Strengthening Families and Communities: 2010 Resource Guide, by the Child Welfare Information Gateway, the Children's Bureau, and the FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention, can be accessed at http://www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/preventionmonth/guide2011/
On March 12, 2010, the U.S. Department of Education posted the final priorities and grant application for the Investing in Innovation Fund (i3) in the Federal Register (v.75, no.48). The i3 is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and is directed toward individual school districts, non-profits, and groups of schools. It focuses on high-need students and has the same four priority areas as the Race to the Top initiative: more effective teachers and principals; improved use of data; implementation of high quality standards and assessments; and the turnaround of failing schools. Applicants may also address competitive preference priorities in the following areas: early learning outcomes; college access and success; the unique needs of children with disabilities or limited English proficiency (LEP); and rural education.
On March 10, 2010, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) released their Draft K-12 Common Core State Standards for public comment. The Common Core State Standards Initiative is being led by governors and chief state school officers in 51 states, territories, and the District of Columbia. The draft standards, developed together with teachers, school administrators and other experts, are meant to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare children for college and the workforce. Comments can be submitted until April 2, 2010 at http://www.corestandards.org.