The Role of Leadership in PreK-3rd Grade

New America
Children’s foundations for learning are built based on their experiences during the first eight years of life. Research shows that children who are behind in third grade will struggle to catch up with their peers, and are subsequently more likely to be retained a grade or drop out of high school. That’s why it’s so important for children to have access to high quality education in the years preceding third grade. Research also shows that teachers are the most important in-school factor impacting student achievement. As a result, a lot of time, research, and funding has been invested in trying to improve teaching quality. As more states and districts have realized the importance of high-quality early education and the need for strong educators who understand early learning and child development, they have run up against an unforeseen challenge: school leaders. As Kristie Kauerz, Director of the National P-3 Center at the University of Washington, explains, “What we often hear from teachers is that they go back into these spaces, and their leaders, their administrators, are not on board and don’t fully understand what developmentally appropriate practice looks like.”

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"Today a reader, tomorrow a leader." — Margaret Fuller