tv Council of Chief State School Officers CSPAN March 5, 2018 2:46pm-3:50pm EST
a.m. eastern and live coverage at c-span 2, and the house on c-span. and later on c-span, the landmark series, and the second season is getting underway next week and tonight, the civil rights cases of 1863 at 9:00 p.m. eastern. and betsy devos, the education secretary s going to be speaking at 4:15 p.m. eastern, and before then, part tof the earlier sessions from today's conference. >> thank you, carrie, i much appreciate the introduction, and i will attempt to condense 24 years of research into the no more than 15 minutes. roughly 450 publication and seven books. we know a lot. you are the people who can
transform what we do with and for children. i believe that deeply, education is the most transformative social institution that we have in the united states now and that we have historically, and don't say that lightly, and i don't discount what we have learned about health and what we have learned about other things, but education is the root that has a allowed this country to go from being a backward, prejudiced undera achieving pla to a world leader to valuing the way that individuals and groups of individuals prosper and contribute and make for a more vibrant society. i think it is nothing less grand than that. and what i hope to show you is that we have some information
that i think that is practically very useful. all of you know in this room that there is a socioeconomic grade yant that pertains to educational attainm, and pertains to quality of health and the quall tiff life in general, and if you are at the top, you stand a good chance of having a very good fulfilling life, and if you stand at the bottom, you face challenges that most of us would find unbearable as we go about our daily business. we also know that there's not a random distribution of these challenges that if we look at the state by state, and we look at region, and different et ethnicities t ethnicities, we will see predictable pattern, and those patterns are predictable with
great reliability beginning in the second year of life, and they show up in things that you are concerned about that i'm concerned about. they show nup cognitive status, language development, frequency of behavior problems. we also have a very clear literature that suggests that if we begin by 3 or 4 years of age, we can certainly help children. we need to take the idea of the critical period and move it off of the stage, because we all need support and encouragement throughout our life and yes, if we begin as late as 3, we can have a positive impact, but in practice that by itself is usually not enough to provide the kind of equity that has been the pervasive talk of this conference so far.
in 2014, '15, there were 42 states and the district of cl columbia that had pre-k programs that served over 1.35 million children reaching about of 4-year-olds, but only about 5% of 3-year-olds. those programs, as you know deeply, they vary widely in their breadth of focus. some provide health care, some don't. some provide family-oriented services, some don't. they vary in the eligibility cry tear criteria to get into those programs. they vary if funding and government structures and the extent the impact of programs have been measured. we don't have to sell early childhood education to upper middle class and upper class parents.
they are already avid consumers of it. people in washington, d.c., new york city, los angeles and minneapolis will stand in line in the last months of pregnancy to get their child enrolled in a high quality early childhood program. they especially seek private preschool programs because we don't have as much in the public sector as we need. roughly 57% of people who place their children in pre-k programs, and who are middle class and above, seek private care. additionally, another 19% use publicly available preschool. so the math is pretty simple. the vast majority are seeking some placement for their children. and what i want to do is give you a very brief summary of the
three projects that are most frequently cited to make a argument that if we want to engaging prevention we need to engage even earlier and as has been argued in the last panel, if we really have a sincere intention of reducing inequity, i will argue that we're much better at prevention than we are in remediation. the three projects are the abecedarian project. project c.a.r.e. which is an acron acronym. and the infant health and development program. the latter two were clones of the abecedarian project which i began in 1971 and continues.
we asked in the beginning what was the power of high quality early education beginning as early in life as we could to alter the confidence in the broadest sense of the highest risk children that have ever been studied. so we wanted to control for certain other things that might be explanatory if, in fact, we observed through differences within the context of what's called a randomized controlled trial. sort of the gold standard of how you prove something in science. and sew with provided prenatal and home visits to both groups. we provided good nutrition to both groups. we provide family social services to both groups. and we provided free or low cost primary pediatric care to both
groups. and we assessed children's development in a variety of ways, beginning at 6 weeks of age. the early education group came to a child development center that we created from scratch and within that center every child experienced an educational program tailored to his or her needs based on frequent assessments and focusing on 27 separate strands of development. we conducted over 500 experiments to create the curriculum, but in summary you can think of the curriculum being composed of enriched caregiving with a very positive focus on teaching children how to do things that they would find enjoyable. that was individualized for each
child but rep lick replicable from a scientific perspective. and that was comprehensive, that had a high priority on language, being able to communicate easily and with joy. and that placed a very clear emphasis on reading. not just reading for information but reading as a pleasant experience with a worm caregiver who had the child's best interests at heart. when i say that the group we began with was challenged, this slide hopefully will begin to conceptualize it. mothers had formerly assessed i.q.s in the mid 80s. they were about 20 years of age. they were all below poverty. as a matter of fact, they were within the bottom 25% of the
federal poverty guidelines. most of them were african-american, although that was not a criteria for selection. that's a comment on the particular area in north carolina where we carried out the study. and about 80% were female headed families. the program randomly assigned eligible individuals at birth and implemented conditions i just described for the first five years of life. children attended the center 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year. the certainty wnter was open frn the morning to 5:30 in the afternoon. red here always indicates the additional treatment, yellow indicates a controlled condition. we ran that until the kids were ready to go to kindergarten, then we randomly split each of those two groups and we provided a special program during kindergarten, first and second
grade and in the summers in between. we've now finished the program out through age 8, or third grade. we've done follow-ups at ages 8, 12, 15, 21, 30, 35 and 40. i want to share with you a little bit of what we've learned. with respect to cognitive performance, we have learned that the control group as intended started off very normal and that beginning in the second year of life, they started falling off developmentally so that by the time they were 3 years of age, they were getting on average a score of 84 on a formerly administered, blindly administered standardized i.q. test. in contrast, the kids that got the early childhood education
started off exactly the same. that's what randomized control trials hopes for and what occurred in this case, and they remained at national average all flight their preschool years. evidence that we were via this set of techniques able to prevent the decline that was anticipated in children from low resource environments. if you look at it from a clinical perspective and you say a child who has a cognitive score, one or more standard deviations below national average, a score of 85 or lower is likely to experience trouble, this simply shows during the preschool years, the percentage of children who remain within normal limits. and by 4 years of age, less than half of the children in the control condition were still
within normal limits. we replicated this study, replication is the hallmark of science, we replicated this study in north carolina, that's what project c.a.r.e. was about. then we had the opportune to do the first multi-site randomized control trial, so we built eight child development centers to the same specification in eight cities. we developed the same crick column. curriculum. we monitored the curriculum being delivered every day. we were able to take advantage of telecommunication to be able to engage via professional development and technical assistance. we were able to show in short you can do the same thing in eight different sites and the eight different sites were boston, new york, philadelphia, little rock, miami, dallas and seattle. stanford collected all the data.
we inducted the teachers into this via pre-service training and continuous inservice training so it was set up so that there was no way that anyone could put their fingers on the scale, all the data were collected blindly. no one knew any of the results until at the very end after the last child was assessed and the tables were laid out and what had to be written was the results, we pressed a button at stanford and out came the results. and what we found is that we had the same thing at each of the eight sites. this graph that's up here now is the most important graph, in my opinion, that i've ever drawn. this is looking at the kids at age 3. and we had 1,000 kids in this study.
the yellow bars are marked off by, beginning from left to right, for the children whose mothers had only some high school graduation, were high school graduates, had some college or were college graduates. and what you see, if you look at those yellow bars, is that socioeconomic gradient that i began this presentation with. that gradient is there not just at 3, it is there at age 2, it is not there at age 1. it emerges between 12 months and 24 months. look what the early education did. it basically had a differential positive effect, depending on the level of challenge that the child faced. so it raised the performance to a greater degree for the
children who came from the highest risk families, but note also that it raised the performance and all this is statistically significant, of course, of children who came from high school graduate and some college, families, and it had neither a positive nor negative effect on children whose parents were college graduates. we think we know why. when we were able to analyze in greater depth those parents were able to use their social and fiscal resources basically to match what it is we were providing. they made use of other forms of health care and early education that was just as good as what we could provide. and it's not just in the realm of cognitive or language
performance. this it is a list of areas, again, all assessed by people b the study. no one who assessed the child at any one time ever saw that child again for assessment, so we were able through -- we had a wonderful support system through the robert wood johnson foundation, through the national institutes of child health and human development, and department of education. what you see here is that by 3 months, the red pluses indicate that there was an effect. the effect always favored the kids who got the early childhood education, and the effect rose in magnitude and breadth of impact over time. this is a busy slide.
it's intended to be busy. this is back to the abecedarian, the original project. this is a slide -- the up arrows is meant to symbolize that there was a positive effect on that area from the early childhood education. the down arrow is meant to imply that there was a reduction in the categories that are listed here. these are all bigger than a quarter of a standard deviation. if you think back to the first slide, the mean effect over the preschool years was about a full standard deviation. that is roughly the difference between haves and have nots. so here we look out to age 40, we see that there are measurable differences in intelligence. reading and math scores all the way through school.
elementary, junior high, high school, are better. it increases the likelihood of going to college to the same level that is true for the general population of the united states. 24% compared to only 6% in the controlled condition. in adulthood people who had it are more likely to be employed full time. we published an article in "science" about a year and a half ago. they are less likely to have cardiometabolic health problems. jim heckman has recently done a cost/benefit analysis. his argument is based on these data, there's a 7.3 return on every dollar invested which averages out to be about a 13.5 annualized return over this period. there are benefits to the parents. mothers continue their own
education and become employed at higher levels. and most recently we reported that the neuroscience meetings two months ago based on the fmri analyses that we've done at age 40 that there is greater cortical gray matter in the kids who are now 40 who received the early childhood education. so we're seeing neurobiological structural and functional differences as well as behavioral differences in classrooms and success in life. as a matter of fact, our most recent data just presented at the society for research and child development says that those who had early childhood education tend to move more broadly throughout the united states. they tend to move into middle class neighborhoods based upon census track data tied to their zip code. so they are associating with more accomplished people while they, themselves, are more
accomplished. for you as educators i think you won't be surprised to see that there's been a reduction in special education placement, reduction from about 48% in the control group to about 12% in the treated group. that there are fewer teen pregnancies. there's less drug use. there's less welfare participation. and distressingly, we just le n learned that mothers in the controlled condition, as well as their children, are more likely to die prematurely. so risk here runs all the way from mortality to the way that we conduct ourselves in daily life in our society. it's complicated. you know that. i brought a few copies of something we've just put
together that brookings and aei have put together. called "the current state of scientific knowledge on pre-kindergarten effects." this is something we wrote about, we being my wife and i, wrote about for this book, which is dealing with, how do we help the public broadly understand that this is something that needs to be done not just for the children, although it certainly needs to be done for them, and not just for the children's parents, because it certainly needs to be done for them, but we all need it because we are all affected and what was said so compellingly and so clearly in the last panel about equity. it's about getting to the positivity, it's getting away from the blaming and the putting
down of people who didn't have an equal chance at the beginning. what i hope is that these scientific data that have gone through peer review, multiple -- the 450 articles -- but those articles are not enough. and the reason that they're not enough is it is more complicated for some people to comprehend than it is for others. and there's still systematic prejudice saying some people don't deserve what others might have gotten because they were born on third base and thought they had a triple. i close by arguing that ccsso is critically important in developing high quality, effective early childhood education.
lots of things can be pursued but if we do it and we do it with high quality, being the mantra, that we hold ourselves to, we have reason to believe we can, in fact, move the needle and from that effort, individuals will benefit, and we as a participatory democracy will benefit. so education, yes, early, yes. how do we do it? you guys and gals are the people who can make it happen. thank you. >> thank you, doctor. we were blessed in mississippi we had dr. ramy and jim heckman
come down and speak to our communities. and you can see how he did a great job laying out why it's so important for us to be responsible for taking on this mantel. i will say to make sure our children are having access to high quality early childhood education. i want my colleagues here to share what they've been doing first. so i want you to tell us about the landscape of early childhood in d.c. and access, which is really important and, joy, i would like you to then talk about oklahoma's history and commitment to this. so we'll start with you first. >> great. i'm thrilled to be on this panel on such an important topic. in the district of columbia we have had universal pre-kindergarten for 3 and 4-year-olds since 2008. so back in 2008 the city passed a law that provided uniform per student funding for the funding basically for school-based pre-k programs and also allowed for similar levels of funding for our community-based organizations, our private providers, who meet
a certain bar for quality. we opened an application. we've done that each of the past two years where we screen for any new applicants who can meet that high quality bar and if they do, they receive similar levels of funding to what our schools do. there's universal pre-k 3 and 4 in d.c., and a mixed model across d.c. public schools, d.c. public charter schools and community-based organizations who meet that high quality bar. we also within my agency, state education agency for d.c., have all the early childhood licensing and also administer the childcare subsidy program. so we are focused also on the quality of care that our children are receiving from zero to 5 in all of our licensed settings across the city. and particularly in our subsidy providers who are focused on our low-income families. so we've been doing a lot of thinking and work around the birth to 3 years and how we can improve the quality of care that is happening as well as what kind of access is being provided, what the eligibility
criteria are, and how we might think about those try ticriteri. i'll just say here i think some solve the tough issues we all have to consider is how we balance the factors that are different. access we're providing and to what families. there's a lot of push i think for universality in this space, which is great and has a lot of power to it. it has a lot of simplicity to it too, but may not focus our resources on the families who need it most. per the professor. thinking about the balance between access, quality and depth of intervention that we're providing to families in different circumstances. so i'll leave it there for now. >> all right. well thank you, again, for the invitati invitation to visit. in 1975, oklahoma passed a law that would require all preschool educators in public schools to
be, to obtain a bachelor's degree in early childhood in order to be certified. so that was the foundation. and then in 1997 we adopted as a state universal pre-k for all preschoolers that were 4 years old and higher. today, that includes some 3-year-olds as well and we have 41 sthourks 41,000 in pre-k, alone. we have a total budget for our preschool with federal, state and local dollars that exceeds $300 million a year. so this is a pretty significant commitment in a state, a very, very red state in oklahoma where we also have a high number of students who are home schooled. and are not regulated. so when you see a state that has been able to lead in providing an opportunity for public universal pre-k to the level that oklahoma has, i think that this is a very broad conversation for any state to
consider or contemplate. one of the things, though, that has occurred, i mentioned first there was a standard for early childhood bachelor's degree to be a preschool teacher in a public school. now we have also 99% of our school districts who provide preschool education. and preschool teachers for their communities out of all of our school districts, over 500. and then we also as late as last year had implemented for the very first time academic standards for pre-k, for math and english language arts and those are vertically articulated from pre-k through 12 grade. that's the first time oklahoma articulated standards in those two core subjects. we're excited to see what two
decades of a priority and funding and through our funding formula our pre-k as well is funded. but to see the fruit that can come when now we talk about aligning the standards of what we are doing in the readiness and preparation. academically as well as examining all of the multiple domains, not just an academic component to that but thinking about meeting the needs of children with trauma-informed instruction with social emotional domains as well. there's a lot of work to do and we continue that effort and we do not want to slip in our standing at the national level in both access and also quality in the work that we're doing to better educate and give our kids an early strong foundational start. >> thank you. so you know very well our leading for equity paper talks about a number of steps that
states can take to address the inequities when it comes to our youngest learners. how are you -- what actions are you taking to prioritize this in your state so that the inequities are being addressed? joy, you want to start? >> all right. sure. so the steps we would be taking are, first of all, there's ways to measure and so we are having the conversation around how will we measure quality? how can we ensure now that we have academic standards, how can when we ensure that head start as well as district level preschool programs and families who choose to be educating their preschooler at home all have the same information on what -- what is needed prior to kindergarten entry. and we believe that families want to be engaged and communities want to be engaged in that way as well, but that has been unknown and really
hasn't been as formally established. first, we have that, but then it's the measurement of that and that is a delicate topic in oklahoma. we would -- we are going about that in a few different ways. one of the greatest interests i have is a way to have a benchmark checkpoint at the beginning to -- we're calling it an index of skills, not a kindergarten entry type exam. but something that is an index of here's what you need to be able to do to be ready and then let's see where we are when we start and we also are working with the kellogg foundation also to talk about how to ensure that our pre-k teachers have good training to also be able to meet those needs of students who have a highly diverse beginning. so working also through our
accountability system, we are thinking through how to do that where we can disaggregate information and then also in partnership with a very long study that's being done out of georgetown university with dr. gornley there who has been studying our students in pre-k and followed them from pre-k all the way through middle school right now and what we see is the evidence that that -- those academic gains persist through middle school, particularly for our students of color. >> yeah. so there's three things i would point to. one is that in d.c., we've been using an assessment called the class assessment for five or six years now in our pre-k 4 classrooms and that's across all sectors. this is an observational tool that measures the quality of teacher/child interactions at the classroom and program level. meaning the school or
community-based organization. again, we've been doing that consistently across our d.c. classrooms, public charter classrooms and cbo classrooms and that has given us a lot of rich information both about how we're doing longitudinally as a state but also how each of the different programs are doing and good practices that we can highlight and learn from in all those places. we're now building those class assessments into our school accountability system and also using them as part of our quality rating improvement system for all of our cbos along with an infant toddler environmental rate assessment. to joy's point about giving clear and transparent information to our providers and educators and families we want that consistent information to be there whether our parent are looking at private providers or school based pre-k programs. so that's one key thing we're doing. a second thing i would point to you mentioned trying to improve the quality of care and learning in the birth to 3 setting which i think can feel intimidating to us who haven't spent time in that early childhood space.
we're literally talking about babies, our infants and toddlers and what quality looks like in that atmosphere. i'll say as a former high school teacher, this was a very new world to me but it's a really powerful world i think to look at. we've been talking today about equity and what it means to focus on the whole child. in the birth to 3 space, there's no other way to look at our children. one thing we've done is we have an early head start childcare partnership grant that is from the federal government that is supplemented with local funding. what we've done is actually set up these hubs that are high quality childcare providers, themselves, and are supporting peer providers and thinking about how to improve the quality of interactions that are happening and care and learning that they're providing. rather than someone going in and saying this is what you should do differently they have coaches that have experience doing this in their own settings and they say this is how we did it in our center. this is how we carved out the
room for our teachers to learn these skills. this is show we interacted with our parents. let me help you figure out the same thing in your setting as you manage feeding schedules, napetime and those day-to-day things you have to deal with. and that peer-to-peer learning is very powerful and we've added funding to support that work but we're trying to learn lessons we can grow and expand in. the last thing i would point to, we also have now done one administration what we call the early development instrument and it's a tool we partner with ucla on. it's been used extensively in australia and canada and a number of communities across the united states. it's, again, an assessment of 4-year-olds that is done in a place-based way and looks at child's development on a number of domains but also maps them to particular geographic neighborhoods. we're using that to help bring together partnerships. saying when we look at children's physical development, let's say, their gross and fine
motor skill development, we look at that by neighborhood. we can see what places around the city have better or weak er vulnerability in this area. here are a number of organizations that care about nutrition and physical development. there are places where you could focus your efforts or to the d.c. public libraries thinking about where they can focus their early literacy programs. we found it helps make partnerships more concrete by being able to focus in particular areas. >> so, joy, how have you maintained the momentum with all of your stakeholders where this is concerned and how do you -- how are you getting people do start to take action and really focus on these little ones? >> well, it's not just one group. it's not just the department. and i think that's what has been able to allow for this kind of sustainability. there is a commission for early start, early readiness, actually. i think it's called the
commission for -- we go by the acronym and i'm trying to remember. we call it smart start. as a colloquial way we talk about it. it involves medical community, pediatricians, all of those various agencies, dhs, the department of health, et cetera. and education, of course. and we are -- we meet with that group on a very regular basis throughout the year. and look at evidence, look at the research and then respond to that. so we are -- i am a member of that, and our department helps support that work, but it is a separate entity from the department of education as well so it is bringing around this topic to many different stakeholders. however, what we, i think, can do as state education agencies is to ensure that we do have expectations and academic standards that go with that readiness component and that we are able to also ensure that we
are knocking down any threat, potentially, due to misunderstanding in the legislature because as you can imagine, those hundreds of millions of dollars that are earmarked for preschool, it's very hard to maintain. that would be very easy for legislators, in fact, we have this this year, and this is every year that i've been there. we have had a threat to that by someone who may not understand and sees a particular pot of money that is going into that program that could be used somewhere else. but we agree and we'll be quoting from you, doctor, that this is a strong return on investment that lasts a lifetime, and has a multigenerational impact. and, so i appreciate that. i think that's our job as advocates but also to provide the kinds of assessment tools where you can meet the needs of
teachers with training and those who will be working with them because you can't take anyone further than the teacher has gone and so part of this i think is also ensuring that we provide that kind of training support, professional development that is needed. >> another question about, with universal pre-k and obviously expanding access, how are you focusing on improving quality? sometimes it's easy to open up something. how do we continue to improve the quality of the programming that you're providing? >> some of the strategies i spoke to in my last response are certainly aimed at improving that quality. i think the other thing we're doing is skontcontinuing to thi about what will all the different levers available to us? we did a major overhaul of our licensing regulations in the past year or so based on the reauthorized federal childcare development block grant. in that overhaul, we thought about are there mechanisms
within the licensing that promote quality? it's interesting to hear in oklahoma, started with a credential requirement. we've taken a similar step in d.c. and said we want to support all of our early childhood educators and move to a higher level of credential. it's phased in over a number of years. we would like all our center directors to have a bachelor's degree, all our lead teachers to have at least an associate's degree in early childhood or minimum number of credits in early childhood. we'd like assistant teachers to have an entry-level credential. we've set those requirements in our regulations and we're doing a lot of support to help our educators meet those requirements whether that's scholarships, cohort-based education programs that will meet in different geographic locations, online courses that are provided for free, specific on-the-ground coaching to help people look at their transcripts, look where they are currently, what the requirements are and how we can meet them. we know it's a lot to take on. we believe it will have a significant impact on the quality of care that's being provided.
and i think the other thing that i would point to is we're also trying to help our laes and school-based programs and our providers just talk to each other a little bit more and think about that transition into school. whether that's happening at the pre-k 3 age, pre-k 4 or in kindergarten and really support that transition effectively. i was visiting a licensed provider the other week that is in the federal government building. the vast majority of their parents are the federal employees. they're professional, in a professional setting. they were talking about how they had not paid enough attention about that transition to school until very recently and realizing some of their children were getting to school and struggling, they're in a very different setting than they used to be in. they're working on building the children -- a greater level of independence, a greater level of problem solving, helping the kids and parents get ready for what it will look like when they go into a school-based setting. similarly, we're trying to bring together schools to articulate
how do you manage the transition at whatever age it's happening. it's tricky in d.c. which is a very decentralized environment, we have more than 60 different local education agencies who many of whom provide pre-k. we have that transition happening again at 3, 4, or kindergarten, and we have more than close to 500 different licensed providers as well as children who are not in a licensed provider setting. they're, you know, at home or in other informal care. we have to think about how we bring people together. to think about no matter where a child is coming from, how do we facilitate that transition into school and make sure the child and family are supported as possible? >> thank you. doctor, you did an amazing job of laying out the social and economic impacts of high quality early childhood education. what can we as state leaders be thinking about in terms of strategies to increase access and quality? >> well, i go back to the last panel because i thought the last
panel was very clear that this was not just an education issue, that forming the coalitions and the common cause -- i don't mean that to be political, just a phrase that came to mind -- but the linkage of education to health care to welfare reform, to the big issues we're facing in society has not been as much appreciated by the general public, in my opinion, as it is by professionals like those in this audience. and i think we have to work at trying to communicate better. it's very easy for all of us to get caught up in the acronyms, or, you know, the shorthand way,
and having spent my entire professional life in multidisciplinary research settings, i have sometimes seen people using the same acronym but it comes from pediatrics on the one hand or psychiatry or neuroscience on the other and they think they are communicating when, in fact, those acronyms are referring to different bodies of information. sometimes it's just hilarious. so one of the things that is difficult to do but i believe we have to do it is we have to really figure out how to say in plain, relatively simple english what it means to do this kind of networking and bridge building and forming constituencies, each
of which -- each member of which -- has an important part to play but it's really the sum of the parts that is really important and it's an old principle where the whole is more than the sum of its parts. but in some states, governors have formed early childhood office offices that link across departments. that's been helpful in some places. but in the end it's the people who are at the top who have to understand and believe in this and empower people to share parts of their budget, to braid funding patterns and so on that can actually make it work. i'm not even sure we need all that much more money. but we may need to spend a substantial portion of it in
somewhat different ways and some of the things we're doing right now are not working. we have to stop doing the things for which there is no evidence when people have tried to gather evidence and the evidence just isn't there. so that will be a gut wrenching set of decisions but if we can get really smart people who would be willing to have those discussions on a really informed basis, we fight find some pots of money that can be used somewhat differently. >> obviously not every state has universal pre-k. i can tell you a story on the side when i first used that term when i landed in mississippi but i won't go there. but what ideas do you have for state leaders who really want to start taking action? in other words, they don't have the landscape that you do but
they want to put a step forward. what advice would you give to our colleagues about furthering this action where young children are concerned? >> i think a couple of things. one thing is to look at all of the available sources of funding that are out there and to start those conversations as professor ramey suggested, even if the funds are not within your agency's control, how can you be talking to the agencies that do use those funds and make sure they're being used in the highest possible ways? in d.c. for our childcare subsidy program, we have local funds that are used as well as federal childcare development, block grant funds and tana funds and they're all used as part of the subsidy program. for the pre-k enhancement program, we layer all that with additional local dollars. we think about how we use those funds in terms of per-people funding people receive as well as around grants that are used to improve quality and other types of supports. so i think every state has a version of those funds.
they may motte be in the same amounts or allocation, but talking to the partner agencies we use those funds to tap into them. we strengthen our partnerships with other agencies even though we have a lot of this work under our purview. we talk with the defendant health about maternal home visiting policies and department of behavioral health. i think those partnerships are one thing. i think the second thin is -- helping providers and schools think about what are the things that children need to succeed in those first weeks of school no matter when those first weeks are happening. the third thing i would point to is this conversation about the importance of early childhood, developing a community understanding of that can also happen whether or not it's within your purview. one of the things we've been realizing is in d.c. because pre-k 3 and 4 are universal and
at the school-based level for a lot of people, people think about pre-kindergarten as part of real school but the birth to 3 space, thinking about what quality look like in that setting, that's still a very new conversation in d.c. the idea you would not try and broaden access as far as possible but focus on the quality of care and learning that's happening in those earliest years is still a new conversation. the idea of engaging families in that is still a new idea. there's a lot we can do that. i mentioned the early head start childhood at hubs we created. each hub has a policy council that's made up of parents. participants whose children are receiving the care, who are coming together and they have actually a voice in the decisionmaking. they review the same data i look at about how the outcomes of that grant and they ask great questions and push the centers on how they're spending funds, how they're using resources, what they're doing to improve
the quality of care and learning. and just tapping into those direct parent voices, conversations we've learned to have around a stakeholder engagement and bringing that to this conversation as well can be really powerful. >> so i would also add, first of all, there are so many h other states sitting in the room that are doing a lot of work and have already done a lot of work in this particular space of early child hoo childhood and early learning. i would be reaching out to people at your table, first of all. i think the second would be to start where you are. obviously, one of the things i voiced when we were talking about this panel is that some -- i know i would be frustrated if i had this as a passion and was in a state where you just -- you know, we don't get to make the vote to pass bills into law. all the way across the various stages that that progresses. and any change is something that takes a long time. but what can we do? what can we walk out of here and
do? i think most of us have head start and are able to start with those partnerships. make it a partnership. make certain that we are aware of some of the barriers or challenges that we might be able to meet that exist today. and when i think about one, it's just a reminder of the reaction of the head start community when they gathered together at a particular time in the year, they didn't know there were new academic standards for pre-k and we're very excited about that opportunity to be working toward a particular readiness goal so that students could transition seamlessly and ready when they arrived at kindergarten on day one. but also i think the other piece what you mentioned, asking the question in a type of survey or a particular kindergarten enrollment questionnaire to find
out where kids have been prior to this start of kindergarten, and then i think we can inform our next steps to meet the needs of those within our state in a better way. >> we've got about five minutes left so those of you who might have questions in the audience of our panel. yep. who's got our mike? okay. thank you. >> can you hear me? >> yes. >> oh. thank you so much. i'm speaking as an early childhood educator. by the way, i'm libby gill from illinois. i'm really excited that you have chosen this to be the priority focus for our equity level along with ccso's support. so, obviously, very compelling research evidence and experiences to help compel anybody questioning this as a priority that we have to prepare
our youngest learners for school success and school readiness. but by the same token, what i really heard, especially you, carrie, speak to, all the practices you have put in place to support school preparation and readiness to welcome students. right? so i just want to make sure we have that balanced message, that is about school readiness when we're talking about the child but we're also talking about student readinesreadiness, we'rg about school. responsibili responsibility. i worry sometimes there might be m misinteration or misapplication of the focus on school readiness and who is responsible for what. so that's more of a comment. my question is about language development being a very substantive significant component and i'm curious to
know in all of your research studies, dr. ramey, and also for the states, what your practices and experience are with addressing the needs of dual-language learners. >> i didn't talk about two of our larger studies. we did a 31-site study with 12,000 kids that had a tremendous amount of diversity with respect to language. this country will have to come to grips with the fact that we're going to be multilingual. some people are going to fight that tooth and nail. i don't think it's a winnable fight. and so we must be prepared to be effective in dealing with people coming from different language culture.
and there's no problem when people come from an advantaged background with multiple languages. i mean, you know, the europeans do this all the time. the problem is most acute when the child is not very proficient in either language. the language at home, or the dominant language being taught in the classroom. it isn't so future a dual-language issue as where i think labels are really important. it's really a lack of the skills required to be an active participant in the education and i'm not very confident that we can cover all the languages that
kids come to school with. i was here in washington, d.c., for a ten-year period before i went to help start a new medical school, and we had kids coming into d.c. with 40 some different languages. i also worked with the superintendent of montgomery county, the county immediately adjacent on the northern side of the district, and he had 40 some different languages. they routinely sent home notices in ten languages. the problem is, there aren't many of us who are even competent in three or four. i'm an old guard in more ways than one. i had to show competency in three languages before i got my ph.d.
truth of the matter is, i'm reasonably competent in one and have a hard time just negotiating restaurants and railroads in the other two. so where would we find the teachers who are truly competent, and it isn't just a spanish versus english. there are multiple dialects of spanish. it goes way beyond that. so i think we either have to affirm, one, that you're going to celebrate this, not be fearful of it, and then within each lea try to figure out what's the magnitude of the problem? because if you're in maryland, and you're in montgomery county, you have a reality that's fundamentally different than if
you're in the far western county of the state. one-size-fits-all solutions is not likely to be very helpful. >> i agree. i want to clarify that when i chose the term dual language learners, i was specifically referring 2, 3, 4 year old, who are literally learning both their home language and english, and to your point, because they're not proficient yet in any language at that point. thank you. >> we know they can do it. that's not an issue. it's how do we do it is what people are grappling with. >> all right. well, please join me -- oh, i'm sorry, is there somebody? >> there's one -- >> very good. i'm sorry. i didn't see your hand. go right ahead. >> a very quick question. the title of the panel is called "making the case on early childhood education." can you talk about some of the
challenges in getting buy-in in your different states? >> joy? >> i mean, i work in oklahoma, now is so established that it is not something people would be willing to give up. and so i think that once you hit a certain point, there is an expectation that this is fully funded as it is in oklahoma. though we do, still, as i described, have those who are not familiar with evidence and we need to tonight to be advocates to share that information then it's so compelling, i don't see that being eroded. >> it's not so much the case for early childhood writ large, what early childhood education means and education side of it. i appreciate the professor and his research and pointing specifically between the control group and treated group where the control group is getting
many of these other types of supports but it's the educational intervention that was making a difference. again in d.c. one of the things we've seen with universal pre-k 3 and 4, people are participating we see our rates of chronic an sen teeism is extremely high. attendance is an opt-in. parents don't necessarily understand the importance of being there and also what that means in terms of setting habits for the rest of school age. i think that's something we're trying to spark a bigger conversation around. i think really the education part of it, not that it's a safe setting for children to be in, not just that childcare, but really what the educational part of it means. >> i think also one of the things we faced, you know, just culturally, that there was -- there's a lot of people that just believe school doesn't need to start, you know, that early, that it's the family's responsibility to ensure that
the programming is there. mississippi does not have mandatory kindergarten. we don't have mandatory age until grade one. and i think that kind of follows along the belief cycle of a lot of folks that just say that kids belong at home until they're ready to start, you know, grade one. i think to the point about chronic absenabsenteeism, that' it's so hard for us in mississippi. you use the term, real school, a lot of folks don't see real school physical first grade. what we did is we went back to the legislature and said can you then change -- if you won't go with the 5-year-old mandatory kindergarten age, can you say once they enroll in kindergarten that they are under compulsory attendance law and that has helped significantly because now they have to come to school. it's not bouncing in and out of school depending on what family wants to do. if you're enrolled, you're now considered under the compulsory attendance law.
it varies from state to state. i think it's really important to know what those conditions are in your state so you know how to best address that and how to frame who you're trying to do in a way that is palatable for folks that just don't see early childhood education as something the government needs to be involved in. >> engaging the entire family, parents, family, are their child's first teacher. that's how we approach it. >> is all right. thanks. please join me by thanking our guests. >> glad to see so many familiar faces and well-attended ccso legislative conference. so, welcome to our federal update portion of today's meeting. i'm peter