06/10/2010 - Once considered just places to play, preschools now sandwich science and math lessons in between naps and recess. To help teachers meet the new academic rigor and to reduce socioeconomic achievement gaps that start before kindergarten, the state wants more teachers to earn bachelor’s degrees.
Less than a third of early childhood educators who teach in private programs, where the vast majority of the state’s preschoolers are enrolled, hold bachelor’s degrees, and many are at education levels barely higher than a high school diploma, according to a report released this spring by Strategies for Children Inc., a nonprofit advocacy group in Boston.
Nationwide, the report found that 50 percent of early educators have a bachelor’s degree.
Several national studies have found that those with a bachelor’s degree tend to expose pupils to a broader range of vocabulary and other literacy skills and that their pupils showed greater gains in cognitive, social, and emotional development, according to a report in March by Pre-K Now, a campaign of the Pew Center on the States.
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