The Good and Bad in Virginia’s 2016 School Readiness Report Card

Virginia’s recently-released School Readiness Report Card has some great news: from 2005 to 2014, key school outcomes—like third grade achievement and high school completion—improved significantly across the state. But those results obscure a much bleaker picture. While overall outcomes are trending up, outcomes for poor and minority children remain low and disparities by economic status and race/ethnicity are substantial....

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Early Learning and the Developing Brain: The Importance of the First 200 Days

An enthusiastic group of Virginia’s business executives and policymakers had the opportunity to hear from one of the nation’s top researchers on early brain and linguistic development as part of the 3rd Annual Executive Briefing on the Economics of Early Childhood, co-hosted by the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation and the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Patricia K. Kuhl, Co-Director...

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Preparing Our Children for the 22nd Century: It’s All About the Starting Line

There are certain moments in time when a window opens, affording the potential for solutions to problems that had previously seemed intractable. As I have taken the helm of Petersburg City Public Schools, I choose to hope and believe that this is such a moment. My unwavering optimism for the students of Petersburg is grounded in my belief that...

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First Blueprint Virginia

As we traveled across Virginia in 2013 while putting together the first Blueprint Virginia, we asked thousands of business executives around the Commonwealth what they saw as the key to their future competitiveness. More than anything else, they said they need to be able to recruit from a well-trained, capable workforce. Ensuring all Virginia children enter school prepared to...

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Making Early Childhood Statistics Personal

As a policy wonk, I love statistics. When I read the 2016 Virginia School Readiness Report Card, it’s easy for me to paint a picture in my mind. The number of low birth-weight babies is down 4.4% over the past decade, which is great because it reduces the risk for developmental issues. According to the PALS benchmark, over 4,300...

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Virginia’s School Readiness Report Card 2016: New Perspectives

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) applauds the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation’s 10-year investment in Smart Beginnings and recognizes the progress Virginia has made. The improvements in outcomes related to early childhood and educational success in Virginia are significant, especially in light of an increase in the percent of children living poverty. However, as the Virginia School Readiness Report...

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