Sarah Garland
Sarah Garland is a staff writer. She has written for The New York Times, Newsweek, Newsday, The New York Sun, The New York Post, The Village Voice, New York Magazine and Marie Claire. She was a 2009 recipient of the Spencer Fellowship in Education Reporting at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and received her master’s degree from New York University as a Henry M. MacCracken fellow. Her first book, Gangs in Garden City: How Immigration, Segregation and Youth Violence Are Changing America’s Suburbs, was published by Nation Books in July 2009.

$500 million in federal funds for early childhood programs

It’s a big day in the early childhood world: The funding for a Race to the Top competition in early childhood programs was announced yesterday. Here’s an excerpt from the release: The Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge will reward states that create comprehensive plans to transform early learning systems with better coordination, clearer learning [...]

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Kumon, hurry up and learn to multiply

Recently, a new branch of Kumon, the tutoring company that is increasingly targeting young children, according to yesterday’s New York Times article, opened in my neighborhood, replacing an African American-owned clothing boutique. The neighborhood, Prospect Heights in Brooklyn, is one of the fastest changing neighborhoods in New York according to recent census numbers. The neighborhood [...]

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The evidence disconnect in early childhood

During a recent BAM! Radio podcast, I discussed the topic of a blog post I wrote about the evidence disconnect in education with host Rae Pica, who asked why, when there’s so much good research, no one seems to be paying attention to it. My fellow guests responded: Virginia Casper, Dean of Bank Street College, [...]

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Early education in a tight spot; Funding falls for first time in years

The recession hit early education hard last year, according to a survey of state spending released today by the National Institute for Early Education Research. For the first time since NIEER started keeping track in 2002, total spending by states on early childhood education declined. There were a few bright spots – Alaska and Rhode [...]

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To earn a BA or not a BA, is that the question?

There has been a movement in recent years to beef up the credentials of early childhood teachers. New Jersey has been at the forefront, requiring bachelor’s degrees for preschool teachers who work in its poorest districts, and the federal Head Start administration is currently increasing its higher education requirements for teachers. But do a teacher’s [...]

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One more try to fund early learning in the federal budget

The Obama administration budget has offered some hope to preschool advocates once again with the inclusion of the Early Learning Challenge Fund, an idea similar to the Race to the Top contest at the K-12 level. The bill failed last year in a Democrat-controlled contest, however, so it would be a surprise if it has [...]

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Washington State going forward with early learning

Money for early childhood education may have stayed relatively stable last year, despite the fiscal crisis hitting many states, but there are concerns that this year the bottom could fall out as states grapple with growing deficits and the end of federal support via the stimulus. In Washington state, however, it looks like there are [...]

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Grading parents from pre-K to third grade

A Florida bill that would require teachers to grade parent performance on their children’s report cards is causing an outcry this week. Does it make sense to judge parents on how well they’re doing given the importance of parental involvement, or is it counter-productive? The bill is meant to “set standards for parental accountability,” and [...]

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Harlem Children’s Zone idea spreads in New Jersey

The state of New Jersey is funding a third effort to replicate Geoffrey Canada’s Harlem Children’s Zone, this time in Paterson. Already, the state had put money behind two partnerships between the HCZ and groups in Newark and Camden. Last fall, the Newark and Camden groups visited the HCZ, which is intended to provide a [...]

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The Chinese mother strategy – missing social emotional development?

So a lot of people have had a lot to say on Amy Chua’s “Chinese Mother” manifesto published in the Wall Street Journal this month, but I have been most intrigued by the response in today’s David Brooks column. He argues that sleepovers, which Chua forbid her two daughters to attend, are actually much more [...]

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