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The Leading Edge of Early Education: Expansion and Improvement for Impact

By News editor on September 27, 2017 4:07 PM
On October 5, 2017, the Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative brought together leaders in early education from across the country for discussions around the delivery of high-quality early learning at scale and its benefit to children and society.

Communities across the nation are working on an aspirational and ambitious agenda to dramatically expand access to prekindergarten experiences. Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of early learning and created tremendous momentum for policies that bear upon children each day, and yet, there is still little knowledge and few examples in the field to inform and scale high-quality efforts.

In this watershed moment, the Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative is gathering researchers, policymakers, advocates, and practitioners from across the country to the Harvard Graduate School of Education for the express purpose of reframing discussions around early education, the delivery of high-quality early learning at scale, and its benefit to children and society.

Watch video of the event in full — or broken down into sessions — below:

8:30 a.m.  Welcome

  • Keith Collar, Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives and Engagement, Harvard Graduate School of Education

8:45 a.m.  The Leading Edge of Early Education: Today's Convening

  • Stephanie M. Jones, Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Nonie K. Lesaux, Academic Dean, Juliana W. and William Foss Thompson Professor of Education and Society, Harvard Graduate School of Education

9 a.m.  A National Strategy for Early Education and Care

  • Shannon Christian, Director, Office of Child Care, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families

9:30 a.m.  The Landscape of Early Education Today

  • Kris Perry, Executive Director, First Five Years Fund (moderator)
  • What are the Right Questions to be Asking about the Economics of Early Education? Diane Schanzenbach, Margaret Walker Alexander Professor and Director, The Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University
  • How can we Move the Needle on Scaling High-Quality Learning Opportunities? Junlei Li, Co-Director, Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media, Saint Vincent College
  • How Should Children’s Experiences of Stress and Trauma Drive New Policies and Practices? Renee Boynton-Jarrett, MD, ScD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Boston University & Director, Vital Village Network, Boston Medical Center

10:45 a.m.  Breakthroughs in Transforming Early Education Learning Environments

  • Archie Jones, Director, Taly Foundation (moderator)
  • Margaret “Peg” Burchinal, Senior Scientist, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Daphna Bassok, Associate Professor of Education and Public Policy, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
  • Jason Sachs, Director of Early Childhood, Boston Public Schools

Noon  Lunch: A Conversation with Marian Wright Edelman

  • Catherine Snow, Patricia Albjerg Graham Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education (moderator)

1:15 p.m.  Lessons from Other Policy Initiatives and Problems for Transformation in Early Education

  • Diane Schanzenbach, Margaret Walker Alexander Professor and Director, The Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University
  • Nathan Hendren, Faculty Research Fellow, National Bureau of Economic Research and Professor of Economics, Harvard University
  • Anthony Jack, Junior Fellow, Harvard Society of Fellows and Assistant Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Kris Perry, Executive Director, First Five Years Fund (moderator)

2:30 p.m.  Supporting Children and Families Experiencing Adversity Through High-Quality Early Education

  • Nicki Ruiz De Luzuriaga, Associate Vice President of Capacity Building, Economic Mobility Pathways (EMPath)
  • Valerie Maholmes, Chief, Pediatric Trauma and Critical Illness Branch, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
  • Anita Moeller, Deputy Commissioner for Program Administration, Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care
  • Gail DiRiggi, Associate Commissioner for Family/Community Supports, Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care
  • Stephanie M. Jones, Professor of Education (moderator)

3:30 p.m.  Early Education and Society

  • James Ryan, Dean and Charles William Eliot Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

3:55 p.m.  Saul Zaentz Tribute

4:30 p.m.  Reception at Loeb House