Category Archives: Child care/children/early childhood development

A top pre-K supporter offers interesting caveats

The latest Bloomberg Businessweek features an article on Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman’s advocacy for increased taxpayer funding of prekindergarten programs. Read just the headline (especially the online version’s declaration that “Early Childhood Education Benefits All”), and you’re likely to miss an interesting caveat included near the end of the piece. “If there are peopleContinue Reading

NEA Legislative Report Card released

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest teachers’ union, released a report card that assigns letter grades to each member of Congress.  As one would expect, the grades are based on the member’s obedience to the NEA, which makes them pretty predictable. Liberals get good grades, conservatives get bad grades, and moderates get middling grades.Continue Reading

More schooling is not necessarily better

“Compulsory Education and the Benefits of Schooling” by Melvin Stephens, Jr. and Dou-Yan Yang examines the relationship between state compulsory attendance laws and outcomes such as wages, unemployment, and divorce. They conclude, “Our fi ndings show no evidence of benefits to additional schooling using variation generated by compulsory schooling laws.” (p. 16) The “compulsory schooling laws”Continue Reading

NC graduation rate increase – par for the course

John Hood pointed out two weeks ago, North Carolina is one among many states that are enjoying increases in their high school graduation rates.  The piece is wicked good. Harvard University duo Richard Murnane and Stephen Hoffman add an important analysis to the debate. In a study published in the June 2013 issue of theContinue Reading

The importance of monitoring children’s books

Those of you who follow N.C. Education Alliance Fellow Kristen Blair‘s frequent contributions to Carolina Journal are likely to appreciate the latest issue of Hillsdale College’s Imprimis, in which Wall Street Journal children’s book reviewer Meghan Cox Gurdon discusses disturbing trends in the subject matter of books written for a “young adult” audience. A recentContinue Reading

What we know that ain’t so

In a TIME column dedicated to addressing the epidemic of violence involving black men, including an alarming rate of black-on-black homicides in his city and others, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter offers these thoughts: We know clearly that there are a few things that work: investing more in Head Start programs, summer jobs and programs forContinue Reading

Ideas Holding Back Education

A recently released e-book exposes seven ideas (myths) that permeate the world of education, while all the time holding back student achievement. E. D. Hirsch, Jr. reviews the book in his blog. A British schoolteacher, Daisy Christodoulou, has just published a short, pungent e-book called Seven Myths about Education. It’s a must-read for anyone in aContinue Reading

Sebelius blasts teachers in grades K-2

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius recently remarked, We’ve got to make sure that kids by the time they hit kindergarten aren’t so far behind that they don’t ever catch up, and by the third grade they may as well drop out because they’re never going to catch up. Of course, Secretary SebeliusContinue Reading