Success Starts Young: Closing the Achievement Gap Where it Begins: A National Symposium on Early Childhood Standards, Kindergarten Readiness, and Technology and Early Learning

 

Presentations & Videos

Welcome and Opening Session
Michael T. Nettles & Walt MacDonald, ETS
Jeffrey Dunn, Sesame Workshop®
Marian Wright Edelman, Children’s Defense Fund

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Early Learning Standards
Andrea DeBruin-Parecki, ETS
Rhian Evans Allvin, National Association for the Education of Young Children
W. Clayton Burch, West Virginia Department of Education
Yvette Sanchez Fuentes, National Alliance for Hispanic Families
Catherine Scott-Little, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Participants discussed the early learning standards throughout the United States and its territories, how they are being used by multiple stakeholders, and issues related to their accessibility by its broad and diverse population. Speakers discussed the breadth of early learning standards, showing how they consist of academic subjects as well as social/emotional development and other characteristics of learning and development.

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Kindergarten Readiness
Janine G. Bacquie, Children’s Defense Fund
Dawn A. Kurtz, Los Angeles Universal Preschool
Dorothy S. Strickland, Rutgers University
Rosemarie T. Truglio, Sesame Workshop
Judith Walker, Maryland State Department of Education

Participants explored the concept of “kindergarten readiness,” and the varying methods used to assess and prepare children to enter kindergarten. Speakers also discussed steps that can be taken in order to avoid placing some segments of the early childhood population at an unfair disadvantage.

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Keynote Address How “Sesame Street” Helps Kids Grow Smarter, Stronger and Kinder: Language and Vocabulary Development
Andrea DeBruin-Parecki, ETS
Rosemarie T. Truglio, Sesame Workshop
Abby Cadabby, Sesame Street

For more than four decades, “Sesame Street” has been introducing kids to school-readiness skills, as well as life lessons — all with the help of Elmo, Cookie Monster, Big Bird and the rest of the beloved Muppets®. Learn how Sesame Workshop continues to evolve its approach to early childhood education by helping kids build language and vocabulary to incite early literacy, as well as give them the language for learning other critical lessons about science and resiliency.

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Technology and Young Children’s Learning
Michael Levine, Joan Ganz Cooney Center, Sesame Workshop
Kevin Clark, George Mason University
Chip Donohue, Erikson Institute
Ed Greene, Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network, Inc.
Lisa Guernsey, New America Foundation

Participants discussed how young children increase their learning through technology, which includes topics on accessibility and the uses of technology by diverse and economically disadvantaged populations. In addition, participants talked about how to judge the quality of education apps and games for use both inside and outside formal school settings.

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Closing Comments
Debra Ackerman & Michael T. Nettles, ETS
Jeffrey Dunn, Sesame Workshop
Marian Wright Edelman, Children’s Defense Fund

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Special session:
Bridging the Birth to Third Grade Continuum: Early Care and Education at the Crossroads of Transformation
Jacqueline Jones, President and CEO for the Foundation for Child Development

A presentation on the current status of early care and education in the United States, as well as on the challenges and opportunities involved in developing a unified system of professional preparation for the adults who implement programs for young children. The presentation took place on March 14th on the ETS Campus in Princeton, New Jersey.

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