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Volume 4 Number 1

Corks are popping! January is awards month in the world of children's literature. Esme Codell writes about contenders for the Caldecott award for best illustration in American children's literature, the Newbery for best writing, the Coretta Scott King award, and others...
H.O.T.T. or NOT: Teacher Training Academy at Hartnell College from: CSU Hayward
2002 World Population Film/Video Festival from: Rawn Fulton
ANNOUNCING: Summer 2003 National Endowment for the Humanities (U.S.A.) from: the National Endowment for the Humanities
Early Childhood Educators Release Guidelines for Early Learning Standards from: NAEYC
Christopher Columbus Awards Challenge Teams of Middle School Students to Explore Opportunities for Positive Change in their Communities from: The Christopher Columbus Awards
"Best 100 Communities for Music Education" Survey Moved Up for 2003 from: American Music Conference
Give Kids Good Schools Campaign
Grants for Libraries
Helping Afghan Children with School Supplies
GRANTS DEADLINE: Congressional Research Awards from: The Dirksen Congressional Center
January Columns
January Articles
January Regular Features
Gazette Home Delivery:

In Focus...
Early Childhood Educators Release Guidelines for Early Learning Standards

From: naeyc
National Association for the Education of Young Children

1509 16th Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20036-1426
202-232-8777 800-424-2460
Fax 202-328-1846

Early Childhood Educators Release Guidelines for Early Learning Standards

Responding to the growing number of states that are adopting standards for prekindergarten and other early education programs, two of the nation's leading early education organizations have released a new position statement outlining the essential elements of early learning standards.

Early Learning Standards: Creating the Conditions for Success is the joint position statement from the National Association for Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education (NAECS/SDE) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The organizations approved the position statement last week at the NAEYC Annual Conference, which drew nearly 30,000 early childhood educators and experts to New York City.

Early Learning Standards: Creating the Conditions for Success stresses that standards can be a valuable part of a comprehensive, high quality system of services for young children, contributing to their educational experiences and future success. But these positive results can be achieved only if early learning standards:

  1. emphasize significant, developmentally appropriate content and outcomes;
  2. are developed and reviewed through informed, inclusive processes;
  3. use implementation and assessment strategies that are ethical and appropriate for young children; and
  4. are accompanied by strong supports for early childhood programs, professionals, and families.

More than twenty-five states have adopted or are considering standards describing desired results, outcomes, or learning expectations for children below kindergarten age. In addition, the federal Head Start program has developed a Child Outcomes Framework, and various national organizations are developing content standards in areas such as early literacy and mathematics. NAEYC and NAECS/SDE have issued this position statement to address the significant educational, ethical, developmental, programmatic, assessment, and policy issues related to early learning standards.

"Standards or shared expectations for children's development can be an important element of excellent education for preschool age children," said NAEYC President Jane Wiechel. "Research and experience tell us that for standards to benefit young children, they must include the essential components outlined in this position statement."

"Many more states and education organizations are issuing or planning standards for the programs that serve our youngest children, and it's important that we work to get it right," said Lucy Roberts, President of NAECS/SDE. "Standards built on weak foundations will not help our young children make the most of their crucial early learning years."

Reports from the National Research Council have described the many connections between early experiences and later developmental and learning outcomes. Research has also identified the typical developmental sequences in areas such as literacy and mathematics, and has shown the need for coordinated attention to all areas of development and learning. Effective early learning standards use this research to identify the outcomes that are most important. With this shared understanding, programs are able to develop curriculum and assessment practices that create the foundation for positive outcomes in later years.

The National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education is an organization for state education agency staff members with major responsibilities in the field of early childhood education. The Association promotes quality services to young children and their families through improvement of instruction, curriculum, and administration of programs. Members of the Association have an opportunity to share ideas and to work together toward the solution of common problems.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children is the largest organization of early childhood educators and others dedicated to improving the quality of early education programs for children from birth through age eight. Founded in 1926, NAEYC now has more than 100,000 members and a national network of nearly 450 local, state, and regional affiliates. NAEYC and its affiliates work to improve professional practice and working conditions in early childhood education, and to build public support for high-quality early childhood programs.

For more information, contact:
Alan Simpson at NAEYC
202-328-2605 or