Two weeks ago, we posted our Open Letter to NAEYC – A Call for Leadership in the Field. Since then we have received many emails of support, such as:
The letter is articulate, and provides a strong presentation of the opinions of so many in the membership. Thank you!
I am very concerned about the attention being put on academics for young children without a full understanding of their needs. Please add my name to the letter to NAEYC.
Hurray for DEY! Thank you for helping to unveil and name the gigantic elephant in our collective educational room on behalf of young children and all those who are determined to walk the talk of DAP. Someday, this beast will be tamed for good given the diligence of DEY and countless others who work tirelessly to create a better, more meaningful world for children and families.
I’ll be proud to sign the letter…
As of this morning, 39 early childhood professionals have joined us in signing the letter. Today we are mailing this updated letter to NAEYC. If you are hearing about the letter for the first time, and would like to sign, we can easily add you to the letter posted on our website. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and write “Open Letter” in the subject line. Let us know how you would like to be identified.
And, if you are a prek-3rd grade teacher, please to take a few minutes to respond to our current survey of teachers. We want to hear from you about how demands on you have change since you began teaching – and how your teaching and assessments have changed as well. Thank you!
Yesterday, the New York City Early Childhood Professional Development Institute featured a Q&A with DEY’s Senior Adviser, Nancy Carlsson-Paige:
ECE NewsWatch (ENW): How long has the nation been going in the wrong direction with policy-making for early childhood education? How far back was the exit we missed, and what are our chances of getting on the right interstate again?
Nancy Carlsson-Paige (NCP): I remember when there was a push for more academic content in early childhood in the 1980’s with the back-to-basics movement, but at that time we were able to almost halt its influence on young children because of the strong position NAEYC took with its publication Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) in 1986. Since that time though, we’ve lost a lot of ground as two important trends have lined up to take us in the wrong direction. First, NAEYC has gradually retreated from its strong defense of DAP to the point where the organization has given its support to the Common Core standards. As many early childhood educators and professors have attested, many of these standards are developmentally inappropriate, ignore children’s needs, capacities, and cultures, and do not honor their uniqueness as learners. Second, there is a forceful, nationwide push for early academics that was first legislated by the No Child Left Behind act of 2001 that has now gained traction from Race to the Top that requires standards for pre-K that align with the Common Core.
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Dear Friends of DEY,
Many good things have been happening at DEY – and I wanted to take this opportunity update you on where we are heading:
- Our survey closed out on July 15th and we will use the data to prepare a report to be released widely by mid-September.
- This summer we are working on drafting the early childhood platform for Save Our Schools. The Save Our Schools People’s Education Convention in Washington D.C. will feature DEY’s Senior Adviser Nancy Carlsson-Paige who will be delivering a keynote address. Our other Senior Adviser, Diane Levin will be presenting a workshop along with Nancy titled, Early Childhood Teachers Speak Out and Organize. For more information about the SOS Conference go to: www.saveourschoolsmarch.org
- Defending the Early Years will be a presence at NAEYC’s Annual Conference in Atlanta this November. Diane Levin has had a session accepted (Beyond Remote Control Teaching and Learning) that can help us spread the work of DEY. If you are planning to attend the Annual Conference, be sure to look for us there!
One more thing:
In New York City last month, parents, teachers, students and scholars protested Pearson, Inc.’s role in the strangling testing regimen. Here is the link to the ten minute video documenting that protest:Pearson protest.
-Geralyn Bywater McLaughlin, Director