April 3, 2018
Five ways to improve early childhood education
New York City’s new Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza is taking the reins of the system at an exciting time. Chancellor Carranza will oversee the continued implementation and rollout of the universal pre-k and 3-k systems and the transitioning of the contracted child care system (EarlyLearn) for children under 5 into the Department of Education. These moves give him and his staff the opportunity to vastly improve outcomes for all New York City public school students.
Although it has been ticking upward, the reading test pass rate for third graders has remained stubbornly low. In the 2016 school year, just 38 percent of students made the grade.
It’s an urgent and complex problem, but it’s one that Chancellor Carranza and his team already have the groundwork to help solve. High-quality early childhood education not only improves students’ test scores later in life, it also helps give them the socioemotional foundation and skills that help them thrive as they get older.
There are five specific actions Chancellor Carranza can take to strengthen the early care and education system for the youngest New Yorkers.
New York City has made great progress in early childhood education over the last few years, by expanding free pre-kindergarten programs to three and four-year-olds, increasing parent engagement and providing early childhood education through a trauma-informed lens. We need this progress to continue and to build on this momentum to strengthen the education system for all students. Many of the tools we need to provide our youngest children with the best start in life are in place. Leveraging and expanding those tools to create a stronger early childhood system will strengthen the New York City public education system as a whole and ensure all students have access to the opportunities they need for a bright future.