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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Early childhood education needs a spotlight



kid_brain.Maybe it's a coincidence and the issue will just fade away again. But in the past week or so there's been a mini-wave of attention and publicity about something that should be a news beat unto itself: early childhood education, and how it needs to be better.

Last week, David Lawrence Jr., the former Miami Herald publisher who co-chairs the Children's Movement of Florida, spoke about the issue to the Florida School Boards Association and the Florida Association of District School Superintendents. Over the weekend, there was this piece in The New Republic about President Obama's failure to talk about the issue as passionately as he once did. And then this week, there was Pinellas Superintendent John Stewart's call for an early learning project of some kind to honor school board member Lew Williams.

(Bills were also filed again recently to set higher requirements for pre-K teachers in Florida.)

Besides beefing up pre-K, though - and let's be honest, even pre-K is at the end of the most critical period in a child's brain development, isn't it? - what does a good, solid, effective early childhood education program look like?

Is it tied to better parenting education programs that we've seen around these parts? What other agencies and entities are involved? Are there models out there? Some bright ideas that need to be tried?

If so, why didn't we try them before?

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[Last modified: Friday, December 9, 2011 12:27pm]


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