Browsing articles in "Curriculum + Standards"
Mar 20, 2011
ELW

Studies on Effectiveness of Early Childhood Programs

FADE OUT:

“Institutionalized messages surrounding ECE claim that it has the potential to promote children’s life-long success, especially among low-income children. I examine the legitimacy of these claims by reviewing empirical evidence that bears on them and find that most are based on results of a small set of impressive but outdated studies. More recent literature reveals positive, short-term effects of ECE programs on children’s development that weaken over time.”  – Lowenstein, Journal of Educational Policy, January 2011 – Emphasis added

“As with the 4-year-old cohort, there was no strong evidence of impacts on children’s language, literacy, or math measures at the end of kindergarten or at the end of 1st grade.” (Head Start Impact Study, Executive Summary, January 15, 2010, p. 21)

“…the achievement impact of preschool appears to diminish during the first four years of school…preschool alone may have limited use as a long-term strategy for improving the achievement gap…”  – Rumberger, et. al, UCSB, 1/06, pp. 79-80

Using data from the (ELCS), researchers concluded that preschool has a positive impact on reading and mathematics scores in the short term and a negative effect on behavior. While the positive academic impacts mostly fade away by the spring of the first grade, the negative effects persist into the later grades.  (Katherine A. Magnuson, Christopher J. Ruhm, Jane Waldfogel, “Does Prekindergarten Improve School Preparation and Performance?” National Bureau of Economic Research, April 2004)

Also using the ECLS data, Lisa Hickman at Ohio University, compared children in center care with children who were taught at home. She found that center care children had higher math and reading skills and poorer social skills prior to kindergarten entry. In first grade, however, preschool participants’ cognitive advantage disappeared and their social skills deteriorated.  (Lisa N. Hickman, “Who Should Care for Our Children? The Effects of Home Versus Center Care on Child Cognition and Social Adjustment,” Journal of Family Issues 27 (May 2006: 652-684)

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Mar 3, 2011
ELW

Alert! New PC Social Studies Standards are a Disaster!!

America is in a time of great economic and social upheaval.  Our constitutional rights are being trampled with frightening frequency and government is encroaching into ever increasingly large areas of our lives and those of our children. There is an alarming decline in the understanding by our nation’s youth and young adults of the basic workings of our government, the foundational principles of our republic and the precepts necessary to maintain our liberties purchased and preserved at such a precious cost.

Tragically, the new draft revision of the social studies standards for Minnesota’s public school students will not help to reverse any of these damaging trends.  In fact, the draft is a giant step backwards.  Even a cursory perusal shows that the politically correct, liberal, leftist elites are having a field day.  They are not just revising and tweaking, as the less than ideal legislation passed in 2003 allowed, but this is a wholesale leftist revision that should be opposed with great vigor.

The one good thing about the draft is that it refers to America as a republic instead of a democracy, which the founders explicitly rejected.  There are large parts of the draft for high school US and world history that are still “to be developed,” so things may change, but we are not confident given what is available for review.  Here are just some of the highlights (or more accurately, lowlights) of the draft:

·        The Declaration of Independence that first listed the principles of our republic such as God given unalienable rights and self-evident truth and that served as the cornerstone inspiration for our Constitution, is only mentioned twice and then, not after the fifth grade.

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Oct 26, 2010
ELW

Kindergarten Readiness: A Useless and Dangerous Concept

The usual big government, control our children from birth crowd constantly harp at parents and policymakers that fifty percent of Minnesota children come to school not prepared or not fully prepared for kindergarten.  They say that only a massive expansion of government money and control will solve this “crisis.”

The Scholar’s Notebook blog reported on a candidate forum in Senate District 43 held on October 18th where early childhood issues were discussed.  I attended that forum and heard incumbent Democrat Rep. John Benson dutifully chanted that exact meme that 50% of Minnesota children were not prepared for kindergarten, that it is a crisis, and that the state needs to provide more funding for early childhood programs. Continue reading »

Mar 16, 2010
ELW

Horrific Bills Continue Cradle Control

Despite the horrible economy, enormous deficits, and boiling frustration with big government on the part of the electorate, the nanny state busy bodies in the legislature, state bureaucracies, and a cabal of progressive foundations are moving full speed ahead with implementing policies and laws to make parents irrelevant, destroy private childcare, and control every aspect of children’s lives from birth to school entry.

Besides the bill we discussed in our last alert that plans to continue implementation of the quality rating system, several more bills have tried to make a comeback or a new appearance that would unite all of the different entities that try to control our children, expand the subjective, invalid kindergarten readiness assessment, cement into place the controversial Early Childhood Indicators of Progress, create a cabinet level Commissioner of Early Learning and expand the subjective early childhood screening.  Here is the list of bills with authors and a brief summary of their problems: Continue reading »

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