Susan Ochshorn: How Race to the Top Harms Little Children

Diane Ravitch's blog

Susan Ochshorn, founder of ECE Policy Works, surveys the harmful impact of Race to the Top on early childhood education.

It was bad enough that No Child Left Behind turned into a Frankenstein:

“…narrowing curriculum, inspiring fear, trembling, and depression in the U.S. teaching corps, not to mention test anxiety among a growing — and ever younger — population of students.

“Today, kindergarteners, their fine-motor skills still wobbly, are darkening the circles of multiple-choice tests. Time for blocks and play is diminished. First and second graders are prepping for exams, exploration and skill-building sidetracked. Assessment in early childhood is hardly a recent concern, notes Kyle Snow, Director of the Center for Applied Research at the National Association for the Education of Young Children, in a paper on kindergarten readiness and other large-scale assessment systems. He cites Samuel Meisels, former head of the Erikson Institute, a Chicago-based graduate school of education…

View original post 205 more words

Be Fragrance-Free, Especially for the Children

Seriously "Sensitive" to Pollution

It’s also good for you and good for me.

Being fragrance-free is especially good for children and fetuses, who are vulnerable to suffering developmental harms from chemical pollutants.

Very few fragrances these days are made from flowers and plants. Most are synthetic, petroleum based concoctions, including ingredients known to cause health harm, and  many more that have never been tested for health effects.

Fragrance is ubiquitous in indoor air, more prevalent than smoke ever was, and like smoke, fragrance also does not respect arbitrary boundaries. Remember smoking sections and how well those worked? Fragrance-free “areas” are just as ineffective. The volatile ingredients move throughout the air, everywhere and anywhere. They also cause second and third hand chemical contamination and health problems, just like smoke. This means that airborne fragrances settle into anything in the spaces they are found, and the residues from those items, your hands, hair,  or clothing, can also…

View original post 434 more words

Sometimes They Listen, Sometimes They Don’t

Seriously "Sensitive" to Pollution

(This post is for us, not so much for those who’ve made it clear they can’t hear us)

There have been a lot of online arguments lately, where people just aren’t listening to each other. I know this phenomenon isn’t limited to what’s happening online either, especially when it comes to people choosing petroleum based fragrances (or other petrochemical products and materials) over family and friends, or worse, over the health of their children! (yes, it happens, and it’s happening far too often these days)

naninanipoopoo

(naninanipoopoo is something my kids used to say when they wanted me to know they weren’t going to listen to me)

Then, just like the fragrance industry is doing, by creating fragrances for absolutely everything, I too  was inspired to come up with a fragrance for that:

View original post 173 more words

What Could Make Less Sense than Expelling a Preschooler?

Psychology Benefits Society

prek expulsions

By Walter S. Gilliam, PhD (Director, The Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy, Yale University)

There are some children who do not benefit from early care and education programs – the ones not allowed to attend because they were kicked out.

In fact, preschool expulsions occur at a rate more than three times that of grades K through 12.

Decades of research tell us that high quality early care and education programs impact children in meaningful and lasting ways, especially for those most at-risk for educational challenges. The primary goal of early care and education is to promote overall school readiness, especially for those needing the most assistance. Clearly, expelling or suspending preschoolers counters the overall objective of early education programs – to promote school readiness in order to improve later educational success. 

According to a March 2014 U.S. Department of Education report, expulsions and…

View original post 1,210 more words