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    OCTOBER 2017
Advocate for Preschool Expansion

Across Massachusetts, people are ready for more preschool. Parents want this learning opportunity for their children, but often can’t afford it or are on waiting lists. Local communities, led by community-based programs, school districts, and mayors, have solid plans for preschool expansion and are waiting for new public dollars to begin implementation.

This is where advocacy comes in. Click here to tell your state legislators to expand preschool in Massachusetts by passing An Act Ensuring High Quality Pre-Kindergarten Education (H.2874, S.240). Strategies for Children estimates that 10,000 3- and 4-year-olds would enroll in the 15 communities with preschool plans. And that’s just the beginning. Let’s level the playing field for all young children and expand preschool opportunity in Massachusetts.
U.S. Department of Education Approves Massachusetts’ ESSA Plan

Submitted by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE), the plan for implementing the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) covers a number of goals for improving K-12 education that involve early education. Early grade literacy is one area of the plan’s focus, as is social-emotional learning, and alignment with early education. The plan states that K-12 officials will “continue to work collaboratively with our colleagues at the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC), as we know successful connections across state agencies are critical to achieving excellence within the K-12 system.” Read more.

Next-Gen MCAS, a reminder to invest in kids earlier

Massachusetts officials have released the results of the new MCAS, “an updated version of the test that was given for the first time in spring 2017 to students in grades 3-8 in English language arts and mathematics,” according to a state press release. “The next-generation MCAS establishes high expectations to better reflect whether students are on track for the next grade level and ultimately for college and a career.”

Strategies for Children examined third grade reading results to understand the new test benchmarks and persistent achievement gaps between groups of students and school districts. We conclude that more investment in the early childhood continuum from birth to 3rd grade is needed to improve early learning outcomes and close gaps. We recommend passage of An Act Ensuring High Quality Pre-Kindergarten Education (H.2874, S.240), and continued investment in the early education and care workforce. Read more.

Check out our Eye on Early Education blog for recent stories you may have missed.

Georgia Takes a Lead on School Readiness — That Massachusetts Should Follow, October 12

Harvard Convenes Early Education Leaders at a National Meeting, October 10

Worcester Wins on Grade-Level Reading, September 14

Full-day Kindergarten Trends in Massachusetts, September 7

Public Comment Period for QRIS in Massachusetts, September 5

Massachusetts EEC ‏@MassEarlyEdCare  Oct 21
EEC's #earlyed #workforce goals for 2018, presented at #EarlyEdCon @BurlMASchools this morning.

Jumpstart ‏@Jumpstartkids  Oct 19
MA First Lady Lauren Baker, @MassEarlyEdCare & @Linda_Pizzuti reenacted Quackers w/ help from young readers at @BPLBoston #ReadfortheRecord

Photo credit: Jumpstart

EarlyEducationForAll ‏@EarlyEd4All  Oct 19
Always an inspiration - Geoffrey Canada @HHCTweets Women’s Breakfast. @hczorg #ChangeLivesB4Lunch

James Vaznis ‏@GlobeVaznis  Oct 17
In Mass., about half of all 4-year-olds attend preschool … via @BostonGlobe

Read With Malcolm‏ @ReadWithMalcolm  Oct 16
Eye On #Education : #Patriots Malcolm Mitchell Spreading The Importance Of #Literacy #K12bigideas cc: @EWmdavis

EarlyEducationForAll @EarlyEd4All  Oct 10
Congratulations to SFC/ @EarlyEd4All Alum-- DR. Kyle DeMeo Cook! @kdemeocook @BostonCollege @bostoncollege @BCLSOE

EarlyEducationForAll ‏@EarlyEd4All Oct 5
Human relationships are the active ingredient for early education! @143neighbor @ZaentzHarvardEd #ZaentzLeadingEdge @FredRogersCtr

Jessica Trufant ‏  @JTrufant_Ledger   Sep 17
South Shore lags behind state in offering free full-day kindergarten




notes from Amy

We have been so encouraged to see local communities come together and develop strong parterships between early education programs serving children birth-to-five and public schools. This collaboration does a great deal of good for the children in your community. At the end of the day, they are all our kids.

Whether it’s ESSA, next-generation MCAS, or preschool expansion planning, our young children and families have much to gain from collaboration between early educators, home visitors, teachers, directors, principals, superintendents, school committee members, mayors and others.

Alignment along the birth through eight continuum is key. This can take many forms: joint professional development between public and private preschool teachers; community-based school readiness efforts, like those funded through EEC’s CFCE grant, and local early literacy campaigns such as the more than 380 in the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

If you work for a school district or charter school, I challenge you to reach out to a community-based early learning program, ask for a tour, share curriculum ideas, or plan an event together. If you work at an EEC-licensed program – I challenge you to make a new connection with public schools, visit a classroom and learn more about the transition from early education.

And of course, leadership matters and sets the tone for collaboration. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has launched a nation-wide search for a new commissioner to succeed the late Mitchell Chester. The process is on-going and the Board welcomes public input about the search, including suggestions for candidate qualifications. Input may be submitted to for review. Please take this opportunity to provide feedback to the Board.


617.330.7380           400 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02110 
Strategies for Children works to ensure that Massachusetts invests the resources needed for all children, from birth to age five, to access high-quality early education programs that prepare them for success in school and life.