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Have we reached universal Pre-K in the District?

At his town hall meetings across the city, D.C. Council Chairman and presumed-Mayor-Elect Vincent Gray has been touting a key achievement in early childhood education. According to Gray, D.C. has reached the milestone of universal public Pre-K four years ahead of schedule. The District's Pre-K Enhancement and Expansion Act of 2008 called for the city to ensure that there were...

Study backs benefits of economic integration in schools

A new study released today presents evidence from Montgomery County that low-income children perform better when then attend schools in affluent neighborhoods. That may be obvious at first read, but the conventional wisdom in education reform over the past few decades has been to pump more funding, better teachers and more resources into schools in low-income areas to level the...

What's best for our children?

Last night I attended Chairman Gray's town hall meeting in Ward 7. The church sanctuary was packed to the rafters. It was hot and stuffy, but the excitement was palpable. Constituents waving fans flowed into the choir stands behind the pulpit where Gray stood. He joked that he was "preaching to the choir." Indeed he was -- Gray lives in...

New locations for town hall meetings

By now you've probably heard about the town hall meetings that Chairman Gray is holding in every ward in an effort to unite the city following the divisive primary. I am planning to attend the one tonight in Ward 7 and just received this notice yesterday that the locations for the remaining town halls have changed. (Thanks, Fair Budget Coalition...

Picture books going the way of the Dodo?

What ever happened to "a picture's worth a thousand words?" Apparently, parents no longer buy into that age-old adage. Achievement-minded parents, ever focused on getting their 5-year-old into Harvard, or maybe Yale, are rejecting picture books for their children in favor of "big kid" books with chapters, according to this New York Times article . At first, when I read...

What we can learn from Fairfax County

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the 4th annual Fairfax Future’s School Readiness Leadership Forum. This year’s focus was on STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology, Math) and the impact on early education (birth to five). The list of panelist and keynote speaker were quite impressive and I was ready to take notes. Joan Lombardi, deputy assistant secretary for early childhood...

What do the new child poverty numbers mean for our work and our city?

Well, I hate to admit it, but when the Census Bureau released staggering new figures on rising child poverty last week, I was worlds away on a long-planned trip with my family in of all places, Paris, France. Walking around that great city, where beautiful buildings and breathtaking monuments attest to its long history of revolution, war, turmoil and triumph,...

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood is coming to D.C.!

One of our goals with "Little Citizens, Big Issues" is to showcase diverse voices and viewpoints from the community on issues affecting young children in the District. This post is by Lauren Hogan, director of public policy at the National Black Child Development Institute (NBDCI). I don’t remember the name of my 2nd grade teacher, or my 6th grade social...

Lowering licensing standards for child care is not the answer

The Washington Post had an article this week that left me scratching my head. The story, " D.C. day-care licensing criticized ," was ostensibly about would-be child care providers complaining about the barriers to entry to opening a licensed community or home-based child care center in the District. One of the women profiled lives with four young foster children, her...

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