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News and Views: From school-readiness to college degrees, the changing face of education in America

Today’s News and Views examines the changing faces of early education and community college. A national study evaluating the  Head Start school readiness program have shown lackluster results, leading the Department of Health and Human Services to announce changes intended to improve teacher training and program quality. With Washington’s Governor Gregoire set to introduce a new enhanced pre-k program (All Start), what lessons can we learn to avoid the same mistakes? Also, factory work may be a dying industry for most of America, but technical skills are still highly valued — creating more pathways to success in our growing global economy.

Head Start: No major gains after first grade? | Early Ed Coverage | Thanks to our colleagues over at Early Education Watch for raising iquestions about the important new study that may not bode well for Head Start, the national school readiness program that is integral to President Barack Obama’s early childhood strategy. The study made its way to Congress on Wednesday.

Wash. Gov. Gregoire Proposes Enhanced Preschool | Education Week | Gov. Chris Gregoire said Monday that she wants all preschools for children ages 3 and 4 to be certified by the state. Under her proposed “All Start” preschool program, certification would ensure that all preschools would operate under the same standards set by the Department of Early Learning.

Community colleges are gaining respect | Crosscut | For half a century, Americans have been pounded with the message: “To get a good job, get a good education.” For people like me, who came of age in the Rust Belt in the ’70s, this meant only one thing: Go to a four-year college, get a white-collar job, and get out of the factories. This was a big change from the world of our parents. For them, economic security meant unionized semi-skilled factory jobs. For us, economic security meant bailing from the factory before it shut down and joining the white-collar workforce. But now it’s 2010, and white-collar jobs aren’t the ticket any more.

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