Takeaways from New America and CEELO Blog Series on Early Learning and ESSA

Over the past four months, New America and CEELO have published a series of blogs on a wide range of topics by authors with diverse perspectives on early learning and education issues. Posts focused on how states could incorporate early learning into their ESSA plans and offered examples from state plans submitted in April. Below are some highlights and key takeaways, along with a discussion of what’s next.

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Leveraging Local Needs Assessments and Plan Development to Support Early Learning in ESSA

There is much excitement in the early learning community about the opportunities for support provided by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). New America and the BUILD Initiative and the First Five Years Fund were among those amplifying the U. S. Department of Education’s 2016 nonregulatory guidance on integrating early learning into ESSA. In our earlier work we likewise identified specific opportunities for states to consider when preparing their plan. However, there are many more possibilities than requirements.

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Making ESSA Work in Early Childhood Classrooms for Dual Language Learners

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) allows states to customize policies to best meet the needs of their learners—much like teachers who design and implement plans for each child to ensure s/he is appropriately challenged and supported to reach personal goals. Now is the time for states to use this opportunity to enhance classroom instruction in meaningful ways for the growing numbers of young dual language learners.

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