1. The article I read was about the new legislation that will be taking the place of No Child Left Behind. The main focus of the article is how the exit of No Child Left Behind has been welcomed by teachers. School teacher’s main gripe about No Child Left Behind is the massive emphasis placed on testing. This is also the biggest problem I have with No Child Left Behind. I do not think true development and learning can take place if teachers are forced to teach to a standardized test. It’s forcing kids to remember certain information for a period of time and then regurgitate them on a test. This is not true learning in my experience. True learning takes place when students are actively engaged and developing lasting connections in their mind.
    No Child Left Behind was legislation put into place to force “higher standards” but the country got a lower level of education. Personally, I am glad to see it go.


  2. If the resources are available, I think that early education is definitely something for parents to consider. It is beneficial for the child to help develop foundation school skills and behavioral expectations. However, the main goals of early childhood education are to help your child socialize, play, and behave around their peers. I personally think that these are all things that can be addressed in a small playgroup. I think that would be a good alternative for families who can’t afford early childhood education.

  3. My little cousin is 4 and he isn’t enrolled in a head start program yet. I think it’s absolutely ridiculous. Early education improves behavioral and social skills. It also has the potential to increase the IQ of a child while also enhancing their learning capabilities. I don’t understand why 52% of 3 and 4 year olds are not enrolled in school. Although, I can’t be 100% mad at parents. I know that the reason my little cousin hasn’t made it to head start is due to the lack of funding. I wish there was a way to provide scholarships or more assistance. I know that daycare, preschool and headstart all can take a large chunk of change out of the parents pocket but there has to be a way to aid this issue.
    Early childhood education can set the tone of how a child will learn and develop in the future. If we don’t lower this number and increase the amount of 3 or 4 year olds in early education, then we are hurting our future.

  4. This article talks about the No Child Left Behind that was established back in 2001 when George W. Bush was the president. This was apart of the elementary and secondary education act that was in desperate need of an update. Essentially the president had a vision to help states level the playing field for student to learn in poverty. This helped hold testing accountable through a new federal system that worked and helped. It holds all school accountable and shows which schools are doing right in educating their children and students. Schools that fail to educate all kids should be held to a higher standard.


  5. Schools suppose to teach children about math, english, and writing. But what about teaching kids about inequality when they are growing up? The article discusses how school shapes how you think about inequality. This article explains how students at racially diverse schools are more tuned in to injustice than students going to school with kids that look just like them. I just shows how students that have to interact and view situations of inequality are more inclined to know when inequality happens more then other students who are clearly oblivious to this happening at all.


  6. Today I observed a kindergarten class here in Lexington. The teacher pulled me aside and told me about the drastic difference between children who went to preschool, and those who didn’t. The children who attended preschool already understood what was expected of them, and got in less trouble for speaking out of turn and not following directions. These students also already knew how to write basic words and numbers and could do more work on their own. This was an interesting observation.
    My question for you all is: should pre school be required, and provided like public schooling, so students can learn the “basics” and expectations before kindergarten? Isn’t is unfair for some students to start with more education than the others?

    1. Preschool is so important to develop the minds of young children, because this is the age when they are willing to explore and synapses are connected to further learner later on. However, for parents who don’t have this awareness or education, how do they become informed about the importance of a child attending preschool? Educational expectations for what a kindergartener is expected to know has changed a lot since its inception. What used to be taught in kindergarten is now taught in preschool.
      As an educated parent, I stressed about which preschool to send my child to and at what age. Many daycares now claim that they offer early childhood programs that are preschool replacements, but are they? How does this transition into learning success once in school? Private preschool that are good quality are costly and only half days, unless paired with an extended day program or daycare, then their are additional cost. Parents can’t even use preschool expenses as educational or childcare tax write-offs because at this age they are considered mandatory, but yet we know this is a key to their educational success!
      My child has learned much since beginning preschool at age 2 1/2. He knows his colors, letters, shapes, songs, his friends names and loves books. Also, because he was in preschool, through assessment, we learned that he needed speech, so we pay for him to have this service, since its a private preschool. The US has done a lot to offer more public preschool and head start programs but their is obviously still a disconnect with some parents about the importance of children attending school before kindergarten.

  7. After reading through several articles regarding early childhood education, I was astounded by the sheer number of children under the age of 5 who are not in any type of pre-educational programs. While I knew they were an important step to putting your child on the right path, I did not know just how many skills and benefits children gain in these programs that students who are not enrolled lose. According to the National Education Association and various studies they cite, students who are enrolled in these programs not only do better and gain more while in school, they gain life long benefits that affect their financial state and their inter-personal relationships. One thing that does concern me, based on my own experiences, as well as family and friends who deal with these programs for their children, the price of these programs is obscene. Some find themselves paying more for these pre-educational programs than their mortgages and I personally find that asinine. I feel that these programs, just like any other level of school K-12 should be funded by government in order to create a better future for our citizens.

  8. Early childhood education is a topic that ranges from, non-existent, to how are you paying so much for pre-k. Early education for children is very beneficial. This is the time that they learn motor skills, basics of what they’ll need in the near future. Here in Lexington, we have the Lexington school. I was very shocked to see that price tag at this school after I had visited it a few times. Some of the students at this school pay $20K plus for an academic year. I was absolutely surprised at this because It didn’t seem much different than the school i attended and i know my tuition was probably only a few hundred dollars. What kind of price tag do we need to set to get our kids educated? http://www.thebestschools.org/rankings/best-american-private-elementary-schools/

    1. I found it really interesting that the #1 best private elementary school in the U.S. was located in Arkansas. I find that interesting because teachers salaries are below national average in Arkansas and many other southern states. My boyfriend actually lives there and while visiting I got the chance to tour the school. It truly is a nice school and there is a great atmosphere among the students and teachers. It was nice to see a “non traditional classroom” for once. Also, I was amazed that The Lexington School is the #2 best private elementary school! This article was very neat and interesting! Thanks!

  9. It is extremely important for children to be enrolled into a early childhood education program so they can get a head start in their primary education. I’ve been to three different kindergarten classrooms in the past year. By the end of October, these kindergarten classes were moving on from the much needed focus of phonetic awareness and where delving into the basics of reading and writing. In two of the school, majority of the students received early childhood education and were completely ready to go above and beyond common core expectation during their first year of primary schools. On the other hand, the students that did not have any kind of early childhood education struggled to even meet the standards. There was a huge gap between the students that had early childhood education and the students that did not. All the students’ education suffered from this as well: the students without early childhood education were becoming extremely frustrated while the students with it were rarely challenge by the curriculum. The teachers of the classes worked very hard to differentiate their instruction; however, it was almost like differentiating for two different grade levels. There were kindergartners that were already learning how to read on the first day of school and kindergartners who had barely been exposed to reading materials. It almost seemed unfair for the students that did not have any sort of pre-elementary education. I remember talking to one of the volunteer parents in one classroom about how quickly the students were learning. He said he didn’t know if his child would be able to keep up if he had never sent that child to preschool.
    As said in previous comments, preschool can be very expensive and difficult to get into. I watched a great documentary that goes into great detail on this subject called “Nursery University”. This documentary follows the treacherous process parents in New York go through to get their kids quality early childhood education. To sum the documentary up, it was painful to watch parents starting to build a legitimate resume for their children from the moment that they were born in desperate hopes that their children would be accepted. While most of the children in the film got accepted, there were hundreds of families that got turned away because they ran out of space. Children all have a right to a free and public education and that should be extended to early childhood education as well. It is not fair to the students and their families to raise expectations without giving them the tools and education to excel.

    Simon, M. (Director). (2009). Nursery university [Motion picture on DVD]. Docurama Films :.

  10. This article explains how the US is ignoring it’s smartest kids within the states. The high achievers are being neglected by schools because they have no intention of pushing the kids harder to see what they can achieve. Only 8.8 percent of students in the united states are classified as high achievers were in other nations the percent is higher around 12.6. The No Child Left Behind program gives incentives for students to just get by or just get over the bar in high school so they can graduate. There is no incentive to boost a smart kid up a scale for example like pushing a “proficient” student to an “advance” student. The united states is bad at producing low income high achievers with the percent being around only 2.45. This article is just explaining hos students should be pushed more so they can gain more knowledge and achieve more things.


  11. This articles talks about how important preschool is. From a study that students from Vanderbilt did they found out that preschool is very important because due to Tennessee’s Voluntary Pre-K program the state funds around 18,000 of the poorest children in Tennessee which costs the state around 86 million each year. They found out the the children who participated in the Pre-K program were much more prepared for kindergarten by all the achievement measures. but eventually the children who did not take pre-k caught up with the kids that took pre-k and this caused the government dilemma. That’s why the Tennessee government is trying to make the program better because “if the program isn’t very good, you can’t expect it to have a long-term impact on kids,” said by Steven Barnett, the director of the National Institute for Early Education Research.


  12. Inclusion:
    I love the idea of inclusion in the classroom and see so many positives to having students with disabilities working alongside their nondisabled peers. The students with disabilities are provided with role models in the class, especially in situations where they are unsure of what to do or how to follow the basic classroom rules (sitting quietly in chair, looking at the teacher, taking out/putting away materials); They can follow the cues of their classmates which promotes a sense of independence (rather than always depending on a teacher or adult). The students with disabilities are also given more of an opportunity to make friends with their peers and to be viewed as a friend/classmate. There are a lot of pros for the students with special needs but I think that the benefits of inclusion for the students without disabilities are even greater. In most cases, these students are exposed to people who are different than them, and are learning to and becoming more accepting of these differences. I think inclusion in the school systems, where students with special needs are receiving their specialized instruction but are given inclusion opportunities into the general education classes (as appropriate and often as possible), will help create a more understanding, respectful, and accepting community toward people with disabilities.

    1. Early childhood education is extremely important for children to receive, regardless of economic status or need level. While the effectiveness of public school preschool and head-start programs have been “under fire,” few could argue that children going to a safe, learning environment is counterproductive. This overview of research from HighScope, http://www.highscope.org/Content.asp?ContentId=260, shows more in depth research of long-term benefits of research of head-start.
      The question hear for this shockingly high statistic is why are so many children not in ECE programs before kindergarten? Is it lack of availability or knowledge? Many parents substitute day-cares for ECE programs, because they provide care for a child all-day, many pre-schools do not. With an increase in standards and testing beginning in Kindergarten, students that aren’t enrolled in any ECE prior to Kindergarten are definitely being set-up for failure.

    2. I could not agree more with your post about inclusion of special education students within the classroom. Special education students should not have to feel like outcasts, especially when it comes to schooling. In my opinion, school is a place in which children should be able to go and feel safe. They should thrive off of trying to become the best version of themselves. As you said, with the inclusion of special education students into a regular setting classroom, it can be beneficial to all parties involved. The students of a regular classroom setting can learn concepts such as respect, acceptance, and compassion towards special education students. At the same time, special education can use this opportunity to learn how to mesh and become one with their outside world. Special education students should have just as equal of an opportunity to become a functioning and productive member of society, so what better way to do that than to begin inclusion at the earliest age possible. Rather than looking at inclusion as an chance for special education students to be ostracized, educators should look at it as an opportunity for those types of students to be looked at more as equals.

  13. Something that is not discussed much in early childhood education is Autism Spectrum Disorder:

    Attached is a video about a young lady named Carly Fleischmann. Carly has autism, and is shedding light on the disability by sharing her insights and first hand experiences.

    Carly was nonverbal for over ten years, despite intensive therapy interventions starting at three years old. Then one day Carly had a breakthrough communicating using a computer. Through the intensive therapy and persistent efforts, Carly now has a voice, and is using it to share information about what it is like to have Autism with the world. In the video she says, “You don’t know what it feels like to be me, when you can’t sit still because your legs feel like they are on fire, or it feels like a hundred ants are crawling up your arms.“

    Carly has been breaking stereotypes related to Autism from the day she found her voice. She once said, “People look at me and assume I am dumb because I can’t talk,“ but she is in fact a published author, blogger, and college student.

    She is breaking barriers daily, and I found her story to be truly inspirational.

  14. Laura Prather – EDC/AAS 550
    As an advocate for early childhood education, I found this study (http://peabody.vanderbilt.edu/research/pri/VPKthrough3rd_final_withcover.pdf) completed by the Peabody College of Education at Vanderbilt to be surprising. Tennessee is offering a free, voluntary preschool program in hopes that it will level the playing field for all students entering public school. It found that the students who attended the state’s pre-K program started kindergarten at significantly higher academic levels than their peers who did not attend, which is not surprising. However, by the end of second grade, the students who attended pre-k started falling behind their peers, which shows that the initial benefits did not provide lasting effects. Tennessee’s governor, Bill Haslam, shared his concerns about the quality of the free statewide program. He compared it to the nutritional value of Easter grass (aka the plastic filling found in Easter baskets) vs. the value of spinach, which is what a high quality preschool offers. I think the biggest takeaway from this study of Tennessee’s pre-K initiative is that educational reform needs to be purposefully planned and evaluated using both quantifiable and qualitative measures before it becomes a large-scale project.

  15. I found this interesting article about how the mayor of New York City is proposing free pre-school for all children. As you know Pre-school can be very expensive for parents ranging around 10,000 to 15,000 a year. Most parents are also very skeptical about putting their children in school at such an early age around 3 or 4 years old that is why many of them do not put their child in any school until Kinder garden but putting their children in school at an early age benefits the child greatly. The children still do all the activities that normal kids their age do like paint and count numbers out loud but they would be put on a curriculum that would stimulate their minds and benefit them when they reach higher education.Public education was the foundation of a lot of the growth of this country and certainly allowed us to have an educated workforce. Public education is the foundation of a lot of the growth of this country and certainly allowed us to have an educated workforce and that is what we are essentially preparing our children to do. be successful and educated to they can lead promising lives.


    1. Early Childhood Education – EDC 601 Lauren Hargrave

      With having a background in early childhood education and family studies, I can understand the importance of early education. There are many theories that believe that the first three years of life are crucial and that is when a child learns the most. However, not only is money an issue, specifically for low income or minority families, but the quality of education that is being provided in early education programs is a problem. Early in my educational experience, I worked in several child care facilities that looked at daycare as just a baby sitting job. Children were not learning effective social, emotional, cognitive, or language skills. Of course in being in an environment with other people children with pick up on things on their own, however, it simply isn’t enough. Therefore, I can totally understand why some parents would prefer their grandmother or someone in their family to keep their child until they are able to start kindergarten. The government programs that a lot of parents qualify for is not quality education for their children. Also, if you look into the media today, there have been a lot of intentional abuse and neglect in child care programs. I can say that I would probably be the parent that would either keep my children at home until it was time for kindergarten or enroll them into a childcare facility where I could constantly monitor their progress and day-to-day interactions (yes I am talking about cameras).

  16. Taking a second look at this article, and the comments that came with it, I agree with Katie in her statement that students who teachers feel should skip a grade should have to take a test in order to do so. My Aunt and Uncle moved around a lot with their three kids, all who were extremely bright. My cousin, Max, the middle child, started elementary school when his family lived in Prune dale California, just a short drive from Monterrey. This town was and still is seen as under developed within the education field. Max’s teachers, who had not seen a student so bright, kept telling his parents, Mother a professor and father a computer technician, that their son should skip a grade. Finally after they let him skip from Kindergarten to first, the teachers then recommended that he skip again! His parents were reluctant but did not want to be holding their son back from his full potential, so they allowed the pass. This recommendation then happened again so that Max would be 5 or 6 years old and in the 3rd grade, that is uncalled for. His family relocated to Fresno California where the children attended a private school because, their parents felt like he and his siblings had missed out of a prime chunk of their education due to their location. Max then had to take the 3rd grade 2 times because his new school and his parents came to the agreement that he was too young and under-developed to be learning with 9-10 year olds. Max is now a sophomore at SFU in California and 18 years old, still a year behind his peers age wise. This story is a prime example as to why not only pure knowledge should be taken into account when allowing a student to bypass a grade. If Max’s teachers really felt as if his mind was of extraordinary brilliance, instead of pushing him forward within the elementary, they should have consulted with his family and a learning center to create some extra work for him to do in order for him to be able to reach his full potential. Max was at a age where if he was given extra work he would not have questioned where it would fit into his grade unlike students who are of our age, so it would have been a perfect option for his school and parents to help him reach his maximum potential.

  17. In a recent survey, kindergarten teachers were asked if they blieved that students were prepared for kindergarten. The results of this survey are on this website. It shows that teachers believe that only 5.6 children are very well prepared to enter kindergarten. This makes me wonder what parents are doing with their children academically. Having worked with kindergarten students. I found that many enter kindergarten not knowing simple concepts such as colors, shapes and letters. How can school systems partner with parents to support parents in educating their children prior to entering kindergarten? https://www.abcmouse.com/KindergartenPreparednessSummary

  18. This was an interesting piece on the benefits and pitfalls of starting kindergarten early. In some states, such as my home state of Missouri, a child cannot start kindergarten early, and the cut-off is August 1. This article presents research on the pros and cons of starting school early if one’s birthday falls too late in the year. Many children become even stronger students because of the need to compete and keep up with their slightly older classmates. I realize this isn’t a post about preschool, but in the grade directly following, I thought it relevant.


    1. I believe there is a lot to gain by starting children in school early. It is important that the early childhood education programs are quality programs, however, and not just daycare. There is research that proves that starting kids in quality early childhood education programs is extremely beneficial. Not only are these students better off academically, but they also seem to have lower crime rates as well. This is definitely an area that needs to be improved on.

    2. I found it interesting that many states don’t permit students to skip a grade when they are academically advanced. I also found it fascinating that the younger students actually out score the older students by the time they reach college. Instead of creating policies that prohibit students from skipping a grade or starting kindergarten early, parents should be permitted to have their students tested out of a grade. After all, the parents are the ones who are responsible for their child’s education.

  19. This article is a video link of a fourth grader in Florida talking to her school board about government testing. She’s extremely eloquent and “well educated” as she says and brings up some great points about the problems with FSA government testing. I’d be interested to hear others thoughts on this girls opinion about government testing and what you think our education system would gain or lose by taking away this testing. Is it hurting our students more than helping?

  20. This website focuses on the government’s perspective and view of the importance of early childhood education in the United States. More specifically, this website offers information on the following topics: early learning in America, expanding high-quality preschool, boosting the quality of childcare in the US, and partnering with parents in order to enhance the educational experience of American children and youth. Overall, this website is both informative and useful for educators and parents on learning about the importance of early childhood education and what parents and teachers can do in order to ensure that American children and youth are provided with the utmost academic experience.https://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education/early-childhood

    1. Chelsea, I think the article you provided from the White House is encouraging and informative. I just wonder if 1 billion dollars is enough money to meet the needs of all 50 states and their early elementary programs. I think we need to do more than just create programs for “at risk” students but also provide supports for their parents. Often times these students have parents that aren’t educated. Therefore, they struggle to assist children with assignments such as reading and math. If we educate the parents then they will be more equipped to support and empower their children.

  21. Like much of the other comments, I believe that early childhood education is crucial in helping those already falling behind start to make up for the environment they were born in. After looking at the programs that are in place, I think we are definitely headed in the right direction and have raised awareness to this issue. With that said, there is always work to be done. However, I think assessments and research need to be conducted following these initiatives to see what is working and what isn’t. Often times, we get so wrapped up in what we think will help without consulting the population that we are trying to help. Rosario Dawson was recently on campus and had a great analogy. Essentially, a wealthy person came and built a bridge for these villagers and the villagers were so grateful, but they really had a different need. It’s like “hey, thanks for this beautiful bridge, but we really need water.”

  22. Far too many children enter today’s schools unprepared. When unprepared children begin school behind, they tend to fall further and further behind their peers and classmates. As such, children who are at risk of not doing well in school gain significant benefits from quality childcare. Overall, all children need to enter school ready and able to succeed. This website addresses the issue of early childhood education by posing the following question: How can we ‘fix’ early childhood education? Furthermore, the article goes on to address questions such as – What is early childhood education? Why is early childhood education important? What demographics benefit most from early childhood education? and how can we make early childhood education more accessible? Finally, the article goes on to describe how important the first eight years of a child’s life are in relation to his or her future academic success. The article concludes by contending that we must make early childhood education a priority in the United States in order to ensure the academic success of our citizens.

    1. I read this article, and agree that early childhood education is crucial for the success of that child’s life. I think it is important for children to develop their cognitive and motor skills, as well as be introduced to social and emotional settings. It sounds great that we are investing in our future generations, but if universal preschool were to be mandated, where would the extra teachers and funds be coming from? Mentioned in the article was that we want high quality teachers who are well compensated, who would pay?

  23. For most all students, having an education prior to entering primary school makes a world of difference in their progress and cognitive development. In addition, depending on the quality of that education, these students can be much more advanced than their peers- this is where the learning gap begins. Unfortunately, for many students, the gap is never closed. I believe that all students should have an early childhood education of some kind to give them a leg up in preparing them for primary/elementary school. I do support the idea of having access to funding for pre-k and kindergarten education for those in need of it. I also praise Obama for taking the steps to make this funding available, however, I am concerned that most all of this funding appears to be in the form of grants. Individuals/ states/ schools in need must first find these grants and apply to even be considered. Then, additional issues may surface regarding grant restrictions for money use or stakeholder input. “Free money” is not ever truly free.

  24. In America, far too many children enter school not prepared. When those unprepared children enter school already behind, they tend to fall further and further behind their peers. Children who are at-risk of not doing well in school gain significant benefits from quality childcare. Finally, all children must enter school ready and able to succeed. Therefore, our federal, state, and local governments must take measures to ensure equity in early childhood education. The article discussed beginning measures taken by President Obama involving providing funds for early childhood education programs. Because Kentucky has not provided many funds to early education, there is a drastic need to do so in the coming years. In order to ensure that all children are prepared and ready to succeed upon entering school, our government must encourage and in some cases, mandate pre-school as a required form of schooling in the United States.

  25. After reading this article I feel like President Obama taking the first step to ensure early childhood education was one that was completely necessary. According to the article Kentucky has not taken the initiative to help children ensure any type of early childhood education, even when the census population estimate of 2013 had Kentucky having 4,395,295 people, 6.3% of those being children under the age of 5. In order for our local and state government to be doing all that they can to help educate the next generation, they need to make pre school a required form of schooling.

    1. Funding for early-childhood education would be an incredible thing for both children and their parents. Preschool can be very expensive and difficult to pay for, but parents that work have to find some way to have their children looked after. It can be a huge blow on their budget and a large stress in getting by day to day. Some parents stay at home and quit their jobs because of the burden of paying for preschool. It wouldn’t be worth it to work if their entire salary went to childcare. If preschool were federally funded, these people would be able to go back to work with the peace of mind that there child is in a space that will nurture their growth and education. Childcare would also provide many benefits for the children. Introducing young children into an area with other kids their age is amazing for their social skills. Interaction with other kids helps them to learn skills like sharing and playing that they might not receive at home. They would also get an early start at their education and prepare them for kindergarten. As it has been said on this post already, way too many children enter kindergarten under prepared. If we are going to try and advance the education of our countries children, we need to start at the very start of a child’s education and work our way up. More prepared kindergarten students will be ready to learn and excel in future grades and put them in a better place for their future.

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