National & State Policies

A Fair Start: Ensuring All Students are Ready to Learn

A Look at the SPREE Working Group Report

In December 2017, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) held its annual NCSL Capitol Forum in Coronado, California. At the conference, the State Policy and Research for Early Education (SPREE) working group gave a preview of the findings of their two-year long research effort on early education best practices.

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Education Week Special Report: ESSA & State of the States

Education Week recently published its long-running annual report on the state of education in the United States. This year’s edition of Quality Counts takes a comprehensive look at what states and districts are doing to get ready for the Every Student Succeeds Act’s implementation, and offers state-by-state grades for how the nation’s

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Romasi Toutai, 5, uses the free UPSTART in-home preschool program at their home in Provo on Thursday, April 9, 2015. SPENSER HEAPS, Daily Herald

Reaching Rural Kids: UPSTART Progress Featured on Federal i3 Blog

UPSTART, Waterford’s in-home, computer-based preschool program, was recently featured in a blog on the federal i3 community website that highlights the program’s progress reaching rural school districts in Utah. In Utah, UPSTART is funded by the state’s legislature as a means to help prepare children in the home for success in kindergarten. Based

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kindergarten children playing with toys

U.S. Department of Ed Releases Guidelines on Early Learning & ESSA

The U.S. Department of Education recently released non-regulatory guidelines about early learning and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). According to the department, the guidance is intended to remind state and local decision-makers about the importance of investing in early learning, highlight the opportunities available under the new law to

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Leading Personalized Learning: UPSTART Featured at State Policy Conference

Recently, the National Conference of State Legislatures gathered 28 state Education Committee Chairs from 19 states to consider the future of education and “Innovation in an ESSA Era.” One of the highlights presented was a preschool software success story featuring UPSTART, Waterford’s at-home kindergarten readiness program. At the event, Tom Vander Ark, co-founder of

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children in preschool

U.S. Department of Ed Announces New Preschool Pay for Success Grant

The U.S. Department of Education recently announced $2.8 million in funding for a Preschool Pay for Success grant competition for state, local and tribal governments interested in exploring the feasibility of Pay for Success to expand and improve early learning. The feasibility studies will determine if this model is an effective

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education commission of the states report

50 State Comparison: K-3 Quality

In recent years, quality prek education has received more policy attention—an important step toward providing quality programs at this critical time in early childhood development. But what happens when children enter K-3 programs that don’t have the same level of academic rigor? The Education Commission of the States recently released a

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AEI chart

New Research: Why Early Education Policy Doesn’t Help Kids

    Katharine Stevens, a speaker at our latest Early Education and Technology for Children Conference and research fellow in education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, recently released a new paper on federal early childhood programs, “Renewing Childhood’s Promise: The History and Future of Federal Early Care and Education Policy.”  The

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