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Update and exciting news about Defending the Early Years

On March 23, 2012 in the post Keeping the Joy of Learning Alive – for Children and for Teachers, I wrote about a new project called Defending the Early Years (DEY). The mission of DEY  is to “encourage educators to speak out about current policies that are affecting the education of young children.”

Earlier this month, the Senior Advisers to the DEY project, Diane Levin and Nancy Carlsson-Paige, asked if I would step in to direct the project, and of course I said yes. The mission is closely aligned with Empowered by Play, and all that I stand for as a teacher, activist and parent. Yesterday, Valerie Strauss published an op-ed piece, How ed policy is hurting early childhood education in her column The Answer Sheet at The Washington Post. The op-ed is written by Levin, Carlsson-Paige and myself. Here is an excerpt:

A coalition of national leaders in the field of early childhood education are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of recent federal education policy reforms on early childhood education and care around the country. The coalition, called Defending the Early Years, believes that children develop best — socially, emotionally and cognitively — when they have educational experiences that promote creativity, thinking and problem solving skills, and engage in meaningful activities geared to their developmental levels and needs.

Read the entire essay here.

If you are an early childhood professional, I strongly urge you to check out the DEY website and to respond to the current national survey. Thanks so much to those of you who already have! Please do what you can (through social networking and good, old-fashioned word of mouth) to spread the word.

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