Quality Preschool Models Raise Awareness About Innovative Early Education Programs Around The Nation

Thursday, May 16, 2013
Early education experts converged Thursday to discuss innovative and effective quality preschool programs around the nation, and how federal policy makers could support their programs.
The Preschool: from the Capitol to the Classroom panel discussion and live webinar showcased state and local preschool programs from California, New Jersey and Tennessee successfully making a positive impact on children through the delivery of quality preschool.
The 5-Star Quality Rating and Improvement System developed by the non-profit organization Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP) highlighted how accountability and support is vital to every quality program. 
“We set high standards for the 300-plus preschools in our network and offer the funding and coaching support to help them meet those expectations,” said LAUP Senior Vice President of Programs Dawn Kurtz.  “We look at teacher qualifications, classroom instruction and a host of other factors to ensure the programs we work with are constantly improving the quality of services they offer to children and families.”
Ronnell Nathaniel of the Acelero Learning Center in New Jersey reinforced how investing in Head Start programs helps close the high achievement gap facing the nation, and that proactive problem solving and follow-through in early education programs is crucial to building a better future for all communities.  
“We believe in data-driven decision making, open communication and teamwork,” said Nathaniel.  “We can never be complacent in our efforts, as quality preschool services demand our focus.”
For 140 years, the Children’s Home/Chambliss Shelter in Chattanooga, has served at-risk children in need of a safe haven while also offering a 24-hour child care center to families in the area. 

"We've made great strides with our public dollars at the Chambliss Center for Children, but we still have a long way to go as a state and as a country to ensure every child has access to a high-quality early childhood education," said President and CEO Phil Acord. "Each year we delay investing in early education is an important year for a child's positive development and learning. We shouldn't wait longer to make the right investments."  

Adele Robinson from the National Association of Education for Young Children (NAEYC) and Dr. Steve Barnett from the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) served as co-moderators, highlighting the importance of President Obama’s budget proposal as a means to increasing the preschool services needed by millions of children across America.

"Given all that we know about the educational, social and economic return on investment, accelerated funding for high-quality early childhood education programs should be a top priority for Congress and for states," said Ms. Robinson. "The lack of access to and quality of early childhood education programs for thousands of young children, starting at birth and continuing through pre-kindergarten, not only undermines the potential of those children, it undercuts our nation's ability to prosper in the short and long-term." 
Dr. Barnett noted that strong partnerships between the government and the private sector can lead to innovative programs when the right policies are in place. 
“The three examples provide lessons regarding the public policies needed to support highly effective early education to improve the lives of our children and yield long-term savings to taxpayers," said Dr. Barnett.  "When poverty is on the rise and half of all American children under the age of 5 live below 200 percent of the poverty line, there is no educational issue more important."
An essential take-away from the event was the key to helping children of all socio-economic backgrounds have a brighter future is by ensuring they receive a quality early education experience that fosters their academic, social and emotional development. 
“All of these organizations show how important it is to focus on the quality of preschool programs,” continued Ms. Kurtz.  “LAUP is contributing to and supporting this national preschool movement to help all children become prepared for kindergarten and beyond.”
To watch an archived video of Preschool: from the Capitol to the Classroom, visit www.laup.net/webcast.aspx.

CHS Receives Environmental Program Recognition

Each year Tennessee schools are challenged to showcase their environmental efforts through the Good Sports Always Recycle program. "Please join us in congratulating this year’s winning schools for their environmental stewardship and recycling leadership among Tennessee’s schools," officials said.   The 2016 Good Sports Always RecycleTM winners are: Abintra Montessori ... (click for more)

Criminal Justice Speaker Series At Chattanooga State Welcomes Ray Krone Thursday Night

Ray Krone, the nation’s 100th Death Row exoneree and co-founder of Witness to Innocence will share his experience of wrongful convictions and discuss his efforts to abolish the death penalty tonight at 6 p.m. The presentation will take place in the Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) building, room C-30, on the main campus of Chattanooga State Community College, 4501 Amnicola ... (click for more)

School Board Chooses Charlotte Firm For Superintendent Search Firm; Lennon, Testerman Want To Keep Kelly

The County School Board on Thursday night voted 5-4 to choose a Charlotte, N.C., search firm to pick a new county school superintendent. Coleman Lew and Associates was selected over McPherson & Jacobson of Omaha. That vote came after board members Kathy Lennon and David Testerman started the session by saying they are very pleased with Interim Supt. Kirk Kelly and would ... (click for more)

East Ridge May Revise Ordinance On Extended Stays; Fire Hall Cost Well Above Projection; Dunkin Donuts, Firehouse Subs Going Into Border Region Sector

A large portion of the East Ridge City Council meeting Thursday night was devoted to the discussion of a proposed amendment to the ordinance previously passed relating to minimum hotel and extended stay hotel requirements. The new recommendations, which the city manager, codes enforcer and city attorney have drafted after meetings with hotel associations, are that a stay can be ... (click for more)

Accountability Doesn't Have To Be A Bad Word

Am I making a difference? Isn’t that the basic question we all ask ourselves, and seek to demonstrate to others?  Ronald Reagan said:  “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.”   We would argue teachers do not have that problem either.    Educators make a huge difference ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Guess Who Backed Kelly?

Two weeks before the August election where three members of the Hamilton County School Board were angrily replaced, the organizer of what was called “a great way for the (challengers) to raise great money to help them run smart campaigns” made a bold statement. “I'm sure the current board is well-intentioned, but the results are not there," said Paul Brock. "Leadership matters ... (click for more)