12-29-16 Education in the News

NPR--We Learned A Lot In 2016 About How Preschool Can Help Kids

One of the most controversial questions in education has been whether preschool and specifically Head Start helps kids succeed as they move through elementary school.

Critics have long noted, and research has supported, that the benefits of Head Start fade in a few years. It's an important question for an $8 billion federal program that provides support for nearly a million low-income children and their families.

This year brought several new studies, however, that found that when done right Head Start and other programs can give low-income students lasting benefits. It's not only through elementary school: At least one study we wrote about found the benefits of preschool paying off for individuals, and society, into adult life.

Deborah Phillips, a professor of psychology at Georgetown University, spent more than a decade studying and tracking children in Head Start.

Courtesy of Georgetown University

All this research, however, was no blanket endorsement. Some of this year's findings reinforced earlier studies showing the uneven quality of Head Start programs around the country.

And so the lessons from 2016 seem to reinforce the emphasis by President Obama and others on quality.


Claudio Sanchez |December 27, 20166:00 AM ET

Education Week--School Districts' Hiring Practices Need an Upgrade, Report Says

School districts nationwide need a lesson in how to woo top talent, according to a new report that reveals how the field's approach to hiring teachers lags way behind the modern practices of other professions.

The report from the Center for American Progress, a liberal-leaning think tank, looked at 200 public school districts nationwide and where they go wrong. The findings are especially relevant now in light of the teacher shortages that many school districts are suffering. Here are the highlights:

School districts' hiring is "hyperlocal, untargeted, or nonexistent."
Most school districts do not attempt a cross-country search for top teacher candidates. Fewer than half of districts travel to colleges or universities to recruit at job fairs, according to the report. Of the districts that do travel, only 22 percent look for teachers outside their own state.

Many other career fields use new technology to do broad searches for qualified candidates. The consulting firm Deloitte, for example, uses Twitter and Facebook to reach thousands worldwide with their recruiting messages in dozens of languages. In fact, whereas 96 percent of job recruiters outside the education sector report using social media in their searches, only 30 percent of districts post job openings on social media. But, according to this EdWeek article, more school districts are starting to take their recruiting efforts online.


Brenda Iasevoli on December 28, 2016 2:09 PM