Newsweek Magazine Previews Decade-Long Evaluation of Breakthrough Carnegie Corporation Early Education Research: Starting Now
Newsweek magazine has published a Special 2000 Edition entitled, Your Child, focusing on the all important early years from birth to three. The magazine explores the formative, developmental and educational milestones that are critical to a baby’s ability to learn and prepare for school. In its introduction to the lead article on “21st Century Babies,” the October 16, 2000 Newsweek special edition quotes from Carnegie Corporation of New York’s upcoming Starting Now report, which builds on the last decade of experience and research in the early childhood education field.
To quote Newsweek’s Barbara Kantrowitz: “Indeed, the last decade has shown that we can make dramatic improvements in children’s lives. The scientific breakthroughs merely give us a road map. With that in hand, parents and policymakers must come together to reach the common goal of giving every child the best possible start. That [is] the message of a soon-to-be released Carnegie Corporation report on the needs of young children. The study,” Kantrowitz notes, will report that “there have been huge strides in preschool education, calling the expansion of Head Start and the funding of Early Head Start ‘major milestones’ of the past decade. More than half of all states are financing one or more programs for infants and toddlers and more than two thirds have programs for preschoolers. These gains are particularly important because, as the report states, ‘children’s early experiences affect not only the quality of their present lives, but also their later ability to learn and reason.’”
This special edition on the early years of a child’s development is the second produced by Newsweek, which published its first special edition on early childhood in 1997. The edition was considered both a major journalistic and education success. At that time, Starting Points, the breakthrough Carnegie Corporation report on early childhood, focused public policymakers and educators on the importance of the early years. “School readiness is an idea that everyone from college presidents, to governors to parents are focused on in 2000,” says Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation. “But when the Starting Points efforts were begun by the Corporation in the early 1990s, it was a rather radical idea. The concept that what happened to babies could affect their progress in later years was quite new and untested.”
“Starting Points galvanized the researchers and educators in this country and we hope this decade-long look at what we have learned in the Starting Points initiatives around the country will be a valuable asset to policymakers and parents alike,” comments Carnegie Corporation education chair Dan Fallon.
Starting Now, authored by Rima Shore, who wrote the Corporation’s other early child hood education reports, is expected to be published early in 2001.