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ERIC Number: ED512838
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Linking Learning: Congress Should Follow New Jersey's Lead on Early Learning. Policy Brief
Rice, Cynthia
Advocates for Children of New Jersey
Congress is currently considering updating the key legislation that governs K-12 public education--the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Noticeably missing from the current law, more commonly known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), is a comprehensive early learning agenda, which span from preschool through 3rd grade. The Obama Administration has repeatedly voiced strong support for quality early learning programs. The Administration's proposal for ESEA's reauthorization is aimed at ensuring that every child receives a world class education. The plan however, fails to address this critical time when young children should be acquiring the skills needed to succeed in school. Once reauthorized, the new law will replace NCLB (No Child Left Behind) and have sweeping effects on the education children receive in classrooms throughout the nation, including New Jersey. That is why it is critical that early learning be a key priority of this plan. To understand the benefits of quality early learning, Congress need look no further than New Jersey. Since 1998, the state has embraced preschool as a prerequisite for low-income children to participate in quality early learning programs that will help them to be successful in kindergarten and beyond. The reauthorization of ESEA provides the perfect opportunity to learn from the New Jersey experience and provide all young children throughout the country with the supports critical in becoming successful in school and beyond, increasing achievement and narrowing the achievement gap. As Congress continues to deliberate on ESEA's reauthorization, this report urges that the following recommendations be considered: (1) Support a new federal PreK-3rd Incentive Fund; (2) Support districts that implement quality PreK-3rd strategies as a priority for addressing the issues of low-performing schools; (3) Reward states with Early Childhood Advisory Councils that create quality early learning programs and align PreK-3rd systems; (4) Change the federal school funding formula to include children at age 3; (5) Include all early childhood teachers in professional development programs; and (6) Integrate preschool data in all longitudinal data systems that measure students' progress through college. (Contains 11 footnotes.) [Additional funding for this policy brief was provided through a grant from Pre-K Now, a campaign of the Pew Center on the States.]
Advocates for Children of New Jersey. 35 Halsey Street 2nd Floor, Newark, NJ 07102. Tel: 973-643-3876; Fax: 973-643-9153; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Foundation for Child Development
Authoring Institution: Advocates for Children of New Jersey
Identifiers - Location: New Jersey
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Elementary and Secondary Education Act; No Child Left Behind Act 2001