Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:
News and Analysis:
Against all odds, prekindergarten is gaining ground. President Obama called again in his State of the Union address for Congress to support high-quality preschool for all, noting that 30 states are already moving ahead on this front (including New York). (New York Times)
Further proof that words aren’t enough: President Barack Obama has advocated for the importance of early education since his first presidential campaign, yet overall federal spending on America’s littlest learners has seen only a slight increase since 2008. (Huffington Post)
WHEN New York City’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, went to Albany earlier this week to talk about his program for universal preschool, the discussion reportedly focused on funding, not on whether or how preschool would actually help children. President Obama seemed equally confident when he introduced his plan for universal preschool last year, flatly stating, “We know this works.” But the state of research is actually much murkier. And unless policy makers begin to design preschool programs in ways that can be evaluated later, the situation won’t get any clearer. (New York Times)
The Education Department on Wednesday reversed a long-standing policy and will now allow public charter schools that receive federal grants to give admissions preference to low-income children, minorities and other disadvantaged students. (Washington Post)
Today, Bellwether released a new report on the promise of charter schooling in rural America—and the very real challenges facing it. (Education Next)
New Jersey
Local approval would be required for any proposed closures or handover of buildings. (NJ Spotlight)
Rhode Island
Rhode Island earned high scores for the way it prepares, retains and rewards effective teachers, according to a national education advocacy group. (Providence Journal)


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