Reforming early childhood education
Setting standards for pre-schools
At Balistine Head Start in Caddo Parish students learn how to do more than just sing the ABC song, they also know how to count in Spanish, as well as, how to add those numbers together.
" You have to give them things that are exciting and will make them want to be competitive with their classmates," says Laurance Guidry.
Guidry is the director of the program and believes changes should be made to early childhood education to help bring students who don't attend head start up to the same level as his students.
Currently the state is looking to create a pilot program for pre-schools that receive public dollars. The goal of the program is to have a fair outcome based rating system with letter grades. It would reward high performing programs and intervene in persistently under performing programs. Schools would then receive funding based on performance.
Programs that want to participate in the pilot must agree to standards set by the state.
Identify all infant to age 5 children in the community attending or in need of publicly funded child care and education services and develop a plan to serve all eligible 4-year-olds;
Use Louisiana’s new Birth to Five Early Learning and Development Standards;
Participate in program and child assessments;
Receive a quality rating and share results;
Develop and use a unified application process for all programs, starting with programs for 4-year-olds.
Applications to participate in the program are available on the Department of Education website at www.louisianabelieves.com.