Editor’s Note

A growing body of research demonstrates the critical role high-quality early childhood education plays in students’ success, not only in the elementary grades but throughout their lives. The decisions we make now about the ways in which today’s preschool and early elementary students are taught will affect our society for many years to come.

Developmentally Appropriate Practice in the Age of Testing

New reports outline key principles for preK–3rd grade

As the push to teach literacy and math skills reaches farther into preschool and kindergarten, educators are warning that teachers need to address young students’ social, emotional, and physical needs as well as their cognitive development.Continue

When Worlds Collide

Universal preK brings new challenges for public elementary schools

In 2005, when Boston mayor Thomas Menino announced his plan to make prekindergarten available to all four-year-olds in the city, parents and early childhood advocates applauded this initiative to add a 14th year to the city’s public school system. Continue

Kids Haven’t Changed; Kindergarten Has

New data support a return to “balance” in kindergarten

In the ongoing battle over kindergarten—has exploratory play been shunted aside for first-grade-style pencil-and-paper work?—one of the nation’s oldest voices in child development is weighing in with historic data. Continue

Testing Goes to Preschool

Will state and federal testing programs advance the goal of school readiness for all children?

Early Childhood Education at a Crossroads

Access to preschool has come a long way, but critical choices lie ahead

Bridging the PreK–Elementary Divide

Concerns about early achievement gaps prompt programs that link prekindergarten with elementary school

From Literacy to Learning

An interview with Catherine Snow on vocabulary, comprehension, and the achievement gap

Three Promising Initiatives

From "Bridging the PreK–Elementary Divide"

Degrees of Improvement

States push to reverse the decline in preschool teachers’ qualifications

What Does Effective PreK Teaching Look Like?

The School Readiness Gap

Prekindergarten—not just preschool—may be the key to narrowing disparities in achievement by race, ethnicity, and income

Response to Intervention

A new approach to reading instruction aims to catch struggling readers early

“Doing the Critical Things First”

An interview with Sharon Griffin on an aligned approach to preK and early elementary math

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