The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) cannot achieve its goals of narrowing achievement gaps and improving student learning unless it provides much stronger support for high-quality education from Prekindergarten through Third Grade (PreK-3rd). A new issue brief from the New America Foundation, 10 New Ideas for Early Education in the NCLB Reauthorization, asks Congress to consider NCLB policies and programs that have the potential to affect education during the PreK-3rd years as part of NCLB reauthorization.
- Allow Reading First funds to be used for PreK language and literacy activities.
- Tap supplemental educational services and public school choice set-aside funds for high-quality PreKindergarten.
- Improve accountability for early education programs.
- Restructure elementary schools identified for reconstitution as PreK-3rd Early Education Academies.
- Strengthen the ability of charter schools to deliver high-quality PreKindergarten.
- Combine NCLB’s Title V block grant program with Head Start’s newly authorized state early childhood coordination initiative to create a single 2020 Early Education state grant program.
- Require pre-k programs operated in public schools or with Title I funds to employ highly qualified early educators as lead teachers.
- Create a Pathways to Pre-kindergarten Teaching alternative certification demonstration program.
- Provide targeted professional development to individual teachers.
- Expand the representation of English Language Learners in PreKindergarten programs.