Early Education in the News

April 30, 2015

A popular and well-regarded preschool program in Los Angeles, which was created more than three decades ago to help children and their parents in low-income, racially and ethnically isolated neighborhoods of the city, would be shut down over the next two years under a district proposal to cut costs.

The specialized program, known as the School Readiness Language Development Program, has been in the budget-cutting crosshairs for several years. Now, Los Angeles Unified School District Interim Superintendent Ramon Cortines’ budget plan proposes to eliminate the program, which currently serves about 10,000 4-year-olds – nearly one-third of the 35,000 pre-kindergarten slots offered by the state’s largest school district. At its peak, the preschool program enrolled about 16,000 students.

Maureen Diekmann, executive director of the district’s Early Childhood Education programs, said Cortines, who returned to the district this year as interim superintendent, “has been a supporter of early education for years.” But she added, “This is not about that. This is about money.”

LA Times
April 2, 2015

Latino toddlers whose language comprehension is roughly similar to white peers at 9 months old fall significantly behind by the time they are 2, according to a study released Thursday. 

The UC Berkeley study found that four-fifths of the nation's Mexican American toddlers lagged three to five months behind whites in preliteracy skills, oral language and familiarity with print materials.

NBC News
February 12, 2015

In San Antonio's Harlandale school district, pre-kindergarten students learn English and Spanish together. They help one another through instructions and assist each other in the language they are most familiar with, a structure that they'll stick with until they reach sixth grade. Similar programs can be found in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere as more and more parents want their children to speak more than one language. But as children under 5 are increasingly Latinos with Spanish spoken at home, such pre-K programs are becoming more vital.

Surprisingly though, when policies surrounding early education are discussed - as they increasingly are - there is limited focus on young children who are expanding their vocabularies in general, while learning to do so in more than one language, said Conor Williams, a senior researcher at New America Education Policy Program.

Latin Post
January 22, 2015

Dual language learners have increased massively within the last few years, due greatly to immigration and the organic growth of Spanish-dominate U.S. born Latinos. That said, there's evidence that identifying and supporting bilingual or multilingual students earlier in their cognitive development/educational process does not seem to be a state or national priority, although it can make all the difference in their future.

Very few states demand early language assessments in early education programs, according to a new webinar by the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) and the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), titled "Young Immigrants and Dual Language Learners: Participation in Pre-K & Gaps at Kindergarten Entry."

New America EdCentral
January 7, 2015

e number of dual language learners in the United States is growing extremely rapidly. And there’s strong evidence that identifying and supporting these students early in their educational process can make a big difference for them in the long run.

Yet, according to a recent webinar by the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) and the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) on Young Immigrants and Dual Language Learners: Participation in Pre-K & Gaps at Kindergarten Entry, few states require early language screening in early education programs. 

Washington Monthly
October 27, 2014

Research efforts are also advancing our knowledge of just how different DLLs’ linguistic and academic paths are. Whatever your preconceived notions, this research should inform the policies that govern DLLs’ educational experiences. The most recent edition of Early Childhood Research Quarterly(ECRQ) has several useful reviews of recent research on dual language learners.

Daily News
August 25, 2014

A new summary of 12 years of study on North Carolina's pre-kindergarten plan for at-threat 4-year-olds shows that "dual-language learners" make the greatest academic progress in the plan. According to the report from the Frank Porter Graham Kid Development Institute (FPG), when students in NC Pre-K advance across all spheres of studying, the plan is especially beneficial for the state's dual-language learners.

The Latino Post
January 6, 2014

A study by UNC's Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG) shows that children who have lower English-language abilities than their classmates benefit most from programs like Head Start and public pre-k. How and why this is true are not so clear.

NBC Latino
October 22, 2013

While Latinos are the largest minority group in US public schools, they have the lowest enrollment in early education programs.  Although Latino children make up one in four children under the age of 5, less than half of Latino children are enrolled in any early learning program - and not all are part of a good quality program.

June 2, 2013

The broken record of bridging the achievement gap in education for the Latino community got a shot in the arm earlier this week when U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, addressing a roundtable of reporters, touted the importance of Hispanic preschool as a building block to academic success.

Medill Reports, Chicago, IL
March 14, 2013

Language services are already offered in grades K-12, but now the Illinois State Board of Education is working to prevent this from happening to current preschoolers with a mandate for 2014 implementation. But despite growing efforts to provide students with language assistance a learning gap persists.

Reno Gazette-Journal, Reno, NV
January 19, 2013

[Gov. Brian Sandoval] goes one step further in boosting Nevada’s early childhood education system, proposing $14 million for an “English language learners’ initiative” that would be used to help children in kindergarten through third grade who don’t speak English at home or don’t use English as their preferred language.

Early Years blog at Education Week
December 11, 2012

Mexican-American preschoolers lag behind their white peers when it comes to early language and literacy development, but their social-emotional skills are just as strong, according to new findings from researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California, Los Angeles.

Learning the Language blog at Education Week
October 16, 2012

[T]here are still significant gaps in readiness between Latino children and their white and Asian-American peers before they enter school, especially when it comes to literacy. A 5-year-old program is taking aim at eliminating those gaps by focusing on parenting practices for children from birth to age 5.

Learning the Language blog at Education Week
September 25, 2012

Illinois requires some of its publicly funded preschool programs to provide either bilingual or English as a second-language instruction to students who are ELLs, a policy it adopted four years ago and one still considered to be groundbreaking for young English-learners.

Business Standard, New Delhi, India
August 3, 2012

Switching from one language to another while in a conversation can help children express themselves better, a new research has found. A study by University of California and Morgan Kennedy of Bard College researchers has found how 'code-switching', or switching back and forth between different languages to discuss and express emotions in a multilingual family might play an important role in children's emotional development.

New Britain Herald, New Britain, CT
July 12, 2012

The New Britain Early Childhood Collaborative has been awarded $20,000 in state money to help train 85 preschool teachers to become better educators of young children who are learning English as a Second Language.

The Deseret News, Salt Lake City, UT
June 26, 2012

The program has given preschoolers such a leg up that by the end of third grade, they're performing on par in math and English with peers not affected by poverty, according to an evaluation by Utah State University early childhood education researchers. The question remains, as the population changes, will there be money and political will to implement these or similar programs, or will an achievement gap widen?

Education Week
June 7, 2012

In a city where 90 percent of public school students are Latino, and 61 percent qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, Perth Amboy has achieved something few communities with a majority-Hispanic student population have: a nearly perfect record for enrolling every eligible 4-year-old and many 3-year-olds in one of its preschool classrooms. In 2011-12, nearly 1,500 children took part in the 10,500-student school system's early-childhood program.

New America Media
February 29, 2012

Too frequently, though, Latino children don't have access to these high-quality programs, due to their high cost, or long waiting lists. Children of migrant families face even greater barriers to accessing such programs, said [Robert] Forbes, of the county's migrant program.