Message From the Deputy Assistant Secretary Libby Doggett
“Ultimately, we are all here because we care about kids,” Secretary Duncan reminded over 250 of us in attendance at the third annual Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge RTT-ELC meeting a couple of weeks ago. Teams from 20 RTT-ELC States attended the action-packed meeting that began with Assistant Secretary Deb Delisle joining the social-media fun by tweeting out, “Little kids need big hearts to care for them–thanks RTT ELC grantees!” Over the two-days, participants heard presentations on the “Evidence Base on Early Education” from Dr. Hirokazu Yoshikawa, and innovative strategies to close the word gap and reach busy families from several sources, including Jackie Bezos of Vroom and Ann O’Leary of Too Small to Fail. Special Assistant to the President for Education Roberto Rodriguez and Urban Institute Senior Research Associate Justin Milner discussed two new White House Initiatives respectively: My Brother’s Keeper and Bridging the Word Gap. But the real excitement was hearing from State leaders about how they are building strong systems and putting early learning reforms in place to improve family engagement, workforce development, and the quality of early learning and development programs. Later this summer, we’ll share some of these amazing State stories. Another highlight of the meeting was HHS Secretary Sebelius who received a standing ovation as she charged State leaders to “ratchet up the pressure” on policy makers to expand early learning opportunities for our children who need it most.
Source: Office of Early Learning, U.S. Department of Education