New Bipartisan Legislative Caucus on Early Childhood Well-Being
This month, the Arkansas Early Childhood Well-Being Caucus — chaired by Sen. Trent Garner (R-El Dorado) and Rep. Denise Garner (D-Fayetteville) — met for the first time to lay the foundation for its 2021 agenda prioritizing early childhood development.The first meeting included presentations from University of Arkansas for Medical Science’s Dr. Nikki Edge on early brain development and Arkansas Association for Infant Mental Health President Jamie Morrison Ward on the importance of investing in supports and services to help young children reach their full potential. The caucus is expected to meet regularly.
New Report Highlights Arkansas as Most Improved in Teacher Prep Program Performance
The National Council on Teacher Quality released a new report, 2020 Teacher Prep Review: Program Performance in Early Reading Instruction, which measures teacher preparation programs’ performance and their adherence to the science of reading. Programs in Arkansas perform well above the national average, with 77 percent (10 of 13) Arkansas programs now earning an A or B. Arkansas also has the most improved program scores since NCTQ’s last report in 2016. To translate this progress into improved reading scores for our students, we must ensure that school districts provide teachers with curriculum, texts, and assessments that reflect evidence-based reading instruction.
Little Rock Mayor Announces Plan to Support Early Childhood Education
Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. reaffirmed his commitment to education in his State of the City Address. During the speech, he announced a push for a one percent sales tax increase that would support multiple initiatives including evidence-based early childhood education for all Little Rock residents. Mayor Scott also reiterated his commitment to expanding community schools.
Arkansas now ranks fourth in the nation for its teacher prep programs’ performance in early reading instruction, according to @teacherquality’s new report, 2020 Teacher Prep Review: Program Performance in Early Reading Instruction. Learn more here: http://bit.ly/3839bHi