Monthly Archives: November 2011
|November 13, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Budget, Education, Evaluation||
Though empirically associated with better educational outcomes and considered by many policymakers to be key to academic success, early childhood education is in danger of being diluted or cut competently from budgets as funding becomes scarce.
A new report from the The Center for Public Education should be required reading for school board members, parents of young children and early childhood education professionals as it provides additional evidence of the benefit of pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) attendance on future academic performance. The study findings suggest:
- Children who attended Pre-K and half-day kindergarten were more likely to have higher third grade reading skills scores than children who attended only full-day kindergarten, without Pre-K.
- The higher the level of reading skill examined (above basic), the larger the likelihood of students who attended Pre-K/half-day kindergarten, as opposed to only full-day kindergarten, reaching that level.
- The impact of the Pre-K/half-day kindergarten combination was significantly greater for some when the sample data was examined by race, ethnicity and family income. Overall, the impact was greatest for Hispanic students, Black students, students below the poverty level and English-learning students.
- The educational attainment of the mother has an impact on the reading level achievement of the student.
|November 7, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Children and Family, Drug and Alcohol, Research, Youth Development||
Perhaps it is no surprise that with our fast-paced, over-scheduled lives we have to be reminded of a very basic way to improve health and lower delinquency risks for our children. Studies link the simple event of dining together as a family with improved outcomes for children’s health, and now, according to a report from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Use (CASA) at Columbia University, a lowered risk for drug and alcohol use.
The report, The Importance of Family Dinners VII, claims that teenagers who have family dinners less than 3 times a week are approximately 4 times more likely to use tobacco products and 2 times more likely to drink alcohol than peers who eat dinners with their families 5 to 7 times each week. Teenagers who reported less than 3 family dinners a week also had easier access to alcohol, prescription drugs and marijuana than their peers and were 4 times more likely to use illegal drugs in the future. Researchers at CASA note that the key piece to family dinners appears to be the time spent with a parent or parents and routine communication between parents and children and among siblings.
The complete report is available for download at the CASA website.