In this week’s edition, experts advise new Early Learning Race to the Top funds, the summer meals program continues to provide nutrition and sustenance to kids across the state, and the achievement gap persists between Latino and white students. More stories highlight the importance of an improved Medicaid system and the business pay-off on early education investments.
Roundup: Experts Weigh In On Race to the Top, Stuck Achievement Gap and Early Learning Standards | Birth to Thrive, Thrive by Five Washington blog | 06-23-2011
The Early Education Initiative joins a group of early learning experts to offer the U.S. Education and Health and Human Services departments recommendations for the new Early Learning Race to the Top. Not surprisingly, this group suggests ways to better integrate birth-to-five systems and K-3, in a letter released last week: “To do this, we wholeheartedly agree that states’ birth-to-five systems must become better organized and of higher quality. However, it is also crucial for states to be intentional and strategic about linking and aligning their birth-to-five systems and programs with Kindergarten through 3rd grade (K-3) education. Doing so ensures that the gains made in early learning settings can be better sustained and achievement gaps can be closed early.”
Lunch program works to fill void | Chinook Observer | 06-21-2011
In an effort to fill this hole, Ocean Park United Methodist Church has teamed up with the Healthy Communities Team from the Pacific County Health and Human Services Department and others to start the Kid’s Summer Lunch Program on the Peninsula. Summer meals here will be a part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program.
Free lunch program for kids starts this month in Monroe | Sky Valley Chronicle | 06-24-2011
“Children need a healthy lunch even when school is out for the summer. Children are hungry all year long,” said Dana Daniel, director of Monroe Public Schools’ Child Nutrition program in a statement.
John Bouman: Study Highlights Importance of Improved Medicaid Program | The Huffington Post | 06-23-2011
Medicaid is not "broke"; it is underfunded. The underfunding causes it to fall short on its ability to deliver the kinds of quality health care that, over the long term, would save money by supporting
healthier people. And Medicaid is not "broken"; it is falling short of its full potential. It provides plenty of essential health care to millions of children, working adults, people with disabilities and seniors. Cutting them off of Medicaid would hurt them immeasurably.
Hispanic, white achievement gap as wide as the ‘90s | The Associated Press | 06-23-2011
"Hispanic students are the largest minority group in our nation's schools. But they face grave educational challenges that are hindering their ability to pursue the American dream," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said.
Nancy Folbre: Will business buy into early childhood education? | Economix blog – The New York Times | 06-20-11
Economists disagree about a lot of things, but many agree that public investments in early childhood education pay off. The social benefits far exceed the social costs…. Why, then, hasn’t the business community thrown more of its political weight behind increased public support for early childhood education?
Susan Ochshorn | Prioritizing Early Childhood Education: We Can’t Afford to Wait | 06-21-2011
Learning, Sen. Tom Harkin reminds us, begins at birth. In the U.S. today, however, only a tiny fraction of the many billions spent on public education is invested at the early end of the spectrum. We are missing a prime opportunity, one that we cannot afford to waste.