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ERIC Number: ED542762
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Apr
Pages: 63
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Confronting the Quiet Crisis: How Chief State School Officers Are Advancing Quality Early Childhood Opportunities
Council of Chief State School Officers
In 2009, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) adopted a new policy statement on early childhood education. Based on the work of a task force of 13 chiefs, "A Quiet Crisis: The Urgent Need to Build Early Childhood Systems and Quality Programs for Children Birth to Age Five" presents a compelling argument for why public education leaders should care about young children well before they enter kindergarten. The statement calls on chief state school officers to work with other state leaders and the early childhood community on a three-fold agenda: building coherent early childhood systems that address standards, assessment, data, professional development, and accountability; improving program quality in all forms of early care and education; and aligning and integrating early childhood and kindergarten through 3rd-grade schooling. This follow-on report, "Confronting the Quiet Crisis: How Chief State School Officers Are Advancing Quality Early Childhood Opportunities," is intended to help chiefs implement the recommendations made in "A Quiet Crisis." It addresses the pragmatic and strategic questions of chiefs who appreciate the contributions of strong early childhood programs, but are more than fully occupied with ambitious and challenging initiatives to improve the performance of elementary and secondary schools. How can they make the case for early childhood investments in today's state budget context? How can they best lead on early childhood education when, in most states, responsibility for managing programs is spread between education, human service, and health agencies, and federally-managed Head Start and Early Head Start programs? This report shows how chiefs in five states led efforts to expand and improve early learning opportunities. It begins with profiles of Nancy Grasmick in Maryland and Sandy Garrett in Oklahoma; both served as chief in their state from 1991 to 2011. Next, the report highlights the experiences of two successive chiefs, William Librera and Lucille Davy in New Jersey. They worked from 2002 to 2010 to implement the New Jersey Supreme Court order (Abbott v Burke) that mandated a new high-quality pre-k program for all low-income 3- and 4-year-olds in 31 school districts. Finally, the report takes an in-depth look at two current chiefs, Deborah Gist appointed as chief in Rhode Island in 2009 and Brenda Cassellius appointed in Minnesota in 2011. Both have made rapid advances in creating interagency structures to coordinate early childhood policy and firmly situate early childhood in their state's overall plan for education reform. A concluding chapter highlights eight key leadership strategies gleaned from these diverse examples, as well as insights from CCSSO Executive Director Gene Wilhoit, based on his work on early childhood issues as a chief in both Arkansas and Kentucky.
Council of Chief State School Officers. One Massachusetts Avenue NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-336-7016; Fax: 202-408-8072; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Kindergarten; Preschool Education
Audience: Administrators
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Council of Chief State School Officers
Identifiers - Location: Maryland; Minnesota; New Jersey; Oklahoma; Rhode Island
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Abbott v Burke