New America's Early Ed Update newsletter.

Are you interested in working at New America? We’re looking for an early education program associate to work on preK-3rd grade projects and summer policy interns.

 On Wednesday, New America will host an event to explore the value of state report cards with Students First, the National Council on Teacher Quality, and Education Week. Find more about the event and RSVP here.

 For our latest PreK-12 content visit EdCentral. You’ll also find our dedicated early ed (PreK-3rd) page for more news and analysis. We’d love to get your thoughts and ideas, email us with comments or story ideas at

 — Lisa Guernsey and Laura Bornfreund
The Vulnerability of Kindergarten in Arizona and Across the Nation

Last week we released a report that examines the many shortcomings of kindergarten policy throughout the country. It focuses on Arizona and how its struggles highlights some of the most important issues facing states today.

What China Wants for Its 3-to-5 Year Olds

Lisa Guernsey reports on how Chinese and American early education program stack up against each other.

HHS Hopes Early Head Start Partnerships Will Lift Child Care Quality

Clare McCann explains how an increased budget for federal early childhood programs might mean an increase in quality.

Child Care and Development Block Grant — Politics K-12 reports that the U.S. Senate might consider a bill to revise the CCDBG this week. “The politics here are interesting. Early-childhood education has gotten plenty of attention in the past several years, thanks to a lot of action at the state level, plus a big, new $75 billion initiative proposed by President Barack Obama. But the high cost of the administration’s initiative means that it’s unlikely to be signed into law anytime soon.” CCDBG reauthorization on the other hand has a real shot: the most recent bill has bipartisan support in the Senate and there is interest in the House too.

Universal Pre-K — Nashville schools might offer a spanish language immersion center in collaboration with a local community group reports The Tennessean. The “partnership is the next piece of the superintendent’s plan to expand preschool to all 4-year-olds in Nashville whose parents covet the tuition-free service.” Early Years blogs about the competition that can arise between public and private early education providers when pre-K is expanded.

Common Core — Common Core Watch asks if the re-written Indiana English and math standards make the grade. “The short answer: not well at all. Both the previous Indiana standards for English language arts and the Common Core literacy standards were among the best in the nation. Both were clear, and both provided explicit guidance about what students should know and be able to do, as well as the kinds of texts they should read at each grade level to build vocabulary and knowledge from grade to grade.” Indiana is not the only state rethinking the Common Core. Several states have withdrawn from consortia developing assessments aligned with the new standards including, Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Utah. And some state legislatures have begun introducing or considering bills to drop or delay implementation of the standards as well.

Teacher evaluation — Teacher Beat reports on Florida’s recent release of teachers ‘value added’ data. “Florida has become the latest state, after New York and Ohio, to release “value added” data on its teachers to news outlets, after losing an open-records battle in the courts to the Florida Times-Union.” On the release, New America’s Melissa Tooley tweets “Media shouldn’t publish ind teachers’ value-add ratings unless agree to publish own employees’ reviews.”

Also worth noting — Can babies learn to read? The Atlantic reports on a study that answers the question… A 50CAN survey finds that Americans agree that improving education should be a priority… Early Years writes about disagreement among health experts that a push for universal pre-K could lead to an overdiagnosis of ADHD.