The Every Child Achieve Act's (ECAA) Early Learning Alignment and Improvement Grants (Sec. 5610) offer new federal funds to "assist states" to "more efficiently using existing Federal resources to improve, strengthen, and expand existing high-quality early childhood education, as determined by the State." Despite the benign and pleasant sounding offer of help and resources to be used as states see fit, these grants greatly expand federal control over preschool as Race to the Top and No Child Left Behind have done for K-12. Here are the problems: There is no evidence of long-term effectiveness of early childhood programs that justify their great cost, but there is evidence of academic and emotional harm.
Each state applying for a grant must promise to and explain how it will use "existing Federal, State, and local resources and programs that the State will coordinate to meet the purposes of this part, including"... "Head Start" and the "Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG)." [Sec. 5902]
Analogous to the Common Core standards incentivized by Race to the Top and the federal mandates for statewide standards and tests required by the 1994 version of the ESEA, there is a rapid spread of statewide or federal early learning standards and early childhood assessment incentivized by the 2011 and 2014 Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge (ELC) Grants and mandated by the 2007 Head Start and 2014 Child Care and Development Block Grant reauthorizations.
According to the ELC Collaborative analysis of the ELC grants, at least 15 states declared openly that they are aligning their early learning standards to Common Core or admitted that they are aligning to the K-3 standards, which is a de facto admission of Common Core alignment.
Mentioning it eleven times in the legislation, Head Start requires not only every Head Start program, but also every other state pre-k program to fully align to the Head Read more