Category Archives: Education

Early Education for Success: Early Childhood Education's Impact on the Economy

Source: National Journal, July 31, 2012
(subscription required)

Politicians from both sides of the aisle agree: early childhood education plays a crucial role in ensuring America’s global competitiveness. Even amid challenging fiscal climates, states have advanced innovative approaches to early learning policies, and new federal initiatives are trying to sustain their momentum and expand their reach. What’s next for early learning, and what can the White House and Congress do to support it?

This National Journal policy summit featured a panel of experts exploring how the two presidential candidates’ visions for early education might translate into policy and the impact these policies might have on the nation’s long term economic health. The discussion also examined the current early childhood education policies at work in the states and offered a range of policy solutions to guarantee American children have the tools they need to succeed in a global economy.

Early Childhood Education’s Impact on the Economy from National Journal and National Journal on FORA.tv

Growing State Economies: A Policy Framework

Source: Joe Cortright, Mary Jo Waits National Governors Association, 2012

Taxes and regulations at the federal, state and local governments have a significant impact on business creation and development…. The structure of each state’s tax system and overall tax burdens affect the creation and growth of business. High state taxes can reduce a state’s economic growth. Improving the quality of a state’ s educational system can have a positive impact on economic growth.

Each state must decide on its tax, spending and regulatory policies. Within that framework, however, this report highlights six issues and activities that can be refined to improve the conditions for job creators. The six drivers of growth are:
• Entrepreneurs
• Education and Skills
• Innovation and Technology
• Private Capital
• Global Markets and Linkages
• Industry Clusters

See also:
Growing State Economies: 12 Actions
Source: Erin Sparks, Mary Jo Waits National Governors Association, 2012

Increasing the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Existing Public Investments in Early Childhood Education – Recommendations to Boost Program Outcomes and Efficiency

Source: Donna Cooper and Kristina Costa, Center for American Progress, June 2012

From the summary:
…In this report we describe how conflicting expectations, misaligned system requirements, and programmatic firewalls on the federal level create formidable barriers to the operation of a well-coordinated system of high-quality early childhood education for children from birth to 5 years old. This lack of coordination means that our federal investments are neither operating as efficiently nor as effectively as possible. As a result we are missing the opportunity to increase the number of young children who enter kindergarten with the skills, knowledge, and dispositions necessary for school and lifelong success.

Currently, there are four federal funding streams–Head Start, the Child Care Development Block Grant, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act–investing approximately $13 billion annually in early childhood programs focused on boosting early learning outcomes. Most of the resources from these funding streams, which we describe later in this report, are targeted to at-risk children. But despite laudable intentions, challenges naturally arise when multiple federal agencies are working relatively independently of one another in pursuit of a common goal….

Academic performance of subsequent schools and impacts of early interventions: Evidence from a randomized controlled trial in Head Start settings

Source: Fuhua Zhai, C. Cybele Raver, Stephanie M. Jones, Children and Youth Services Review, Volume 34, Issue 5, May 2012
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The role of subsequent school contexts in the long-term effects of early childhood interventions has received increasing attention, but has been understudied in the literature. Using data from the Chicago School Readiness Project (CSRP), a cluster-randomized controlled trial conducted in Head Start programs, we investigate whether the intervention had differential effects on academic and behavioral outcomes in kindergarten if children attended high- or low-performing schools subsequent to the preschool intervention year. To address the issue of selection bias, we adopt an innovative method, principal score matching, and control for a set of child, mother, and classroom covariates. We find that exposure to the CSRP intervention in the Head Start year had significant effects on academic and behavioral outcomes in kindergarten for children who subsequently attended high-performing schools, but no significant effects on children attending low-performing schools. Policy implications of the findings are discussed.

Rethinking the role of early care and education in foster care

Source: Mary Elizabeth Meloy, Deborah A. Phillips, Children and Youth Services Review, Volume 34, Issue 5, May 2012
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Service integration for foster children has recently improved following scholarly recommendations (Shonkoff & Phillips, 2001) that sparked federal action to integrate child welfare services with intervention services for children with special needs, as well as with local education and Medicaid agencies (P.L. 110-351, 2008). However, integration with early care and education (ECE) has lagged behind despite the potential of such efforts to help child welfare agencies fulfill their mandate to ensure children’s safety, permanency, and well-being (P.L. 105-89, 1997). Research aimed at informing the integration of ECE and foster care is also lacking, as these two areas of investigation have developed along largely parallel tracks. The purpose of this paper is to provide a framework for understanding the potential roles that ECE can play within the foster care system that can, in turn, guide a systematic, policy-focused research agenda. We introduce the paper with a discussion of federal policy barriers to ECE and child welfare service integration, and close with a specific recommendation that the Children’s Bureau and the Office of Child Care take steps to encourage research aimed at filling the knowledge gap at the intersection of these two core services for vulnerable children and families.

Adopting Ohio Senate Bill 5: The Role of the Public University Presidents

Source: Sheldon Gelman, Albany Law Review, Volume 75 Issue 1, 2011/2012

In March 2011 the Ohio General Assembly passed Senate Bill Five (―S.B. 5‖), a measure that would have banned collective bargaining by public university faculty members and severely limited bargaining rights for other public employees. Ohio voters decisively rejected S.B. 5 in a referendum election eight months later, preventing it from taking effect. In response to public records requests I have received thousands of pages of documents that describe the role of public university presidents in connection with S.B. 5. Based on this newly available information, this article examines the actions, and analyzes the arguments, of senior university officials.

Together with similar collective bargaining legislation in Wisconsin, S.B. 5 triggered a national debate about labor policy and the role of the middle class in American life. Besides those general concerns, however, the events hold special significance for our understanding of universities. S.B. 5 singled out university faculty for the most stringent treatment of any group and it did so via a provision–known as the ―Yeshiva amendment‖–that Ohio’s public university presidents drafted and promoted in secret….

Public Elementary and Secondary School Student Enrollment and Staff Counts From the Common Core of Data: School Year 2010-11 – First Look

Source: Patrick Keaton, National Center for Education Statistics, NCES 2012327, April 2012

From the summary:
This First Look presents national and state level data on student enrollment by grade and by race/ethnicity within grade, the numbers of teachers and other education staff, and several student/staff ratios for the 2010-11 school year.

The Great Cost Shift: How Higher Education Cuts Undermine The Future Middle Class

Source: John Quinterno, Dēmos, March 2012

From the summary:
This report examines how state disinvestment in public higher education over the past two decades has shifted costs to students and their families. Such disinvestment has occurred alongside rapidly rising enrollments and demographic shifts that are yielding more economically, racially, and ethnically diverse student bodies. As a result students and their families now pay–or borrow–a lot more for a college degree or are getting priced out of an education that has become a requirement for getting a decent job and entering the middle class.

This study traces trends in the size and composition of the young adult population and analyzes patterns in state support for public higher education over the past two decades. Trends in tuition and financial aid are also examined and policy recommendations are presented for ways to renew America’s commitment to nurturing a strong and inclusive middle class through investments in public higher education.

Key highlights of the report include:
State Investment in Higher Education
– A review of financial data from 1990 onwards suggests that a structural change in state support for higher education is underway.

– While state spending on higher education increased by $10.5 billion in absolute terms from 1990 to 2010, in relative terms, state funding for higher education declined. Real funding per public full-time equivalent student dropped by 26.1 percent from 1990-1991 to 2009-2010.

– Over the past 20 years there has been a breakdown in the historical funding pattern of recessionary cuts and expansionary rebounds. The length of time for higher education funding to recover following recessions has lengthened for every downturn since 1979 with early evidence suggesting that the recovery from the Great Recession will be no different.

Challenges for Students, Families, and States
– The steady escalation in college prices has occurred alongside stagnant incomes for most American households. Median household income in the United States in 2010 was just 2.1 percent higher than in 1990.
See also:
Simple Math: Cuts to Higher Education Lead to Rise in Student Debt
Source: Viany Orozco, Dēmos, Policy Shop blog, April 19, 2012
Wall Street-Inflated Student Debt Bubble Hits $1 Trillion; Debtors Rally for Relief / The collective weight of American student debt is a drag not just on those paying the debt, but on our entire economy
Source: Sarah Jaffe, Alternet, April 24, 2012
I Went to School for This?
Source: Catherine Ruetschlin, American Prospect, April 25, 2012

Unfunded State Mandates Costing Cities and Towns

Source: Ray Hershel, WGGB, February 7, 2012

State Auditor Suzanne Bump releases the results of a statewide survey showing that unfunded state mandates are costing cities and towns more and more money. Those costs total more than 11-million dollars this fiscal year.

Massachusetts participates in a federal program in which cities and towns are required to provide transportation and education of homeless children after they are placed in a different community for temporary housing.

For example if a student in one community is left homeless and moved into a motel in another city or town then both communities share the cost of transporting that student to school.