Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Elementary and Secondary Education Act Reauthorization

Cross-posted from the Strengthening Families Blog on 3/15/2010

This week President Obama sent his “blueprint” for the renewal of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to Congress for consideration. The blueprint outlines principles that the White House hopes Congress will incorporate into the Act’s reauthorization to overhaul some of the less popular provisions in No Child Left Behind (NCLB), improve struggling schools, and ensure that students graduate from high school “college and career-ready.”

While ESEA and Obama’s blueprint focus primarily on K-12 learning, the goals of the act and proposed reforms rely heavily on children starting school ready to learn. Children are far more likely to be “college and career-ready” when they graduate if they participate in quality early care and education that both promotes their growth and development and connects their families to the support they need (see the Chicago Parent Child Centers research and “Early Childhood Education Quality and Child Outcomes”, Child Trends).

Although ESEA is not likely to impact early childhood education significantly, the administration has expressed a commitment to increasing access and improving quality in early care and education as well as supporting families. At a weekend forum in Cedar Rapids, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan highlighted the importance of early childhood in connection with the blueprint.

Visit CSSP's project on Strengthening Families for more information on the importance of early care and education.

For policies Ensuring Children are Healthy and Prepared to Succeed in School.

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