The New Race to the Top Doesn’t Focus on Early Learning, But Opportunities Are There
August 13th, 2012 by Paul Nyhan
The U.S. Department of Education released its final application for its latest Race to the Top and the bad news is it will not focus on early learning, but the good news is that there still will be opportunities, according to reports.
The latest race will focus on district-level reforms, asking school districts to submit education reform plans for a portion of $400 million available in grants. It is not surprising this round doesn’t focus on early education because school districts are typically organized around K-12 – though there are signs of districts adding pre-kindergarten to their systems.
Within the Race to the Top’s framework, though, early learning ideas and initiatives could be added to a district’s application, according to an analysis by Child Care Aware of America.
For example, one of the Competitive Preference Priorities calls for applicants to “provide a description of the coherent and sustainable partnership it has formed with public or private organizations” that could include early learning programs.
The analysis also suggests there is a chance to include PreK-3rd work under Continuous Improvement Measures. The Education Department has sent signals of its support for PreK-3rd strategies before, and it will be interesting to see if any of the eventual winners propose strategies in this area.
School readiness is also included among RTTT 2012 goals.
Identify not more than 10 population-level desired results for students in the LEA or consortium of LEAs that align with and support the applicant’s broader Race to the Top – District proposal. These results must include both educational results and other education outcomes (e.g., children enter kindergarten prepared to succeed in school, children exit third grade reading at grade level, and students graduate from high school college- and career-ready)…
— Capitol Connections, Child Care Aware. 8/13/12.
(The full analysis from Child Care Aware is not online, but we will add a link when it is.)
Snoring in Toddlers Linked to Behavioral Problems
A new study linked snoring in children ages 2 to 3 with cognitive and behavioral problems. Loud and persistent snoring “signals a sleep problem that could affect a child’s behavior during the day. These problems can include hyperactivity, inattention or depression,” according to a summary of an article released by Pediatrics today. “Study authors also agree that these findings offer more support for new mothers to initiate and stick with breastfeeding. Breastfeeding, especially for longer periods during infancy, seemed to protect against later snoring.”