The 2015 edition of Education Week’s Quality Counts report—Preparing to Launch: Early Childhood’s Academic Countdown—explores the complex landscape that defines early-childhood services and programs in this country. The report examines how new academic demands and accountability pressures are reshaping the learning environment for young children and the teachers and administrators serving them. Education Week journalists delve into the policy debates surrounding publicly funded programs, examine cutting-edge research on the early years, and highlight the academic and technological challenges that await the nation’s youngest learners. To complement the report’s journalism, the Education Week Research Center also conducted an original analysis of participation in early-education programs, poverty-based gaps in enrollment, and trends over time. The center’s Early Education Index grades the states based on federal data across eight critical indicators. The nation as a whole earns a D-plus on the index, while half the states earn grades in the Cminus to C-plus range. The District of Columbia ranks first in the nation with a B-plus.
Read the report here.