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By Eric Celeste Celeste
August 2017
Vol. 38 No. 4
When I first met Alan Cohen, he was trying to explain to me what he meant when he used the term “high-quality early education.” This was about four years ago, when Cohen was first put in charge of early education in Dallas ISD, a large urban district composed of 220-plus campuses and nearly 160,000 students. We were discussing how some researchers suggested praise for pre-K programs was overstated, that improvement in student outcomes didn’t always occur, or at least often faded. “That’s true,” he said, “if the programs aren’t high-quality.” Cohen then opened a spreadsheet on which he’d scored every early education campus in the district on the 30 factors he said a classroom must meet to be considered “high-quality”: everything from more district support

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Eric Celeste (eric.celeste@learningforward.org) is associate director of publications at Learning Forward. ν



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