A nice mention of Montessori in an article regarding grants for Pre-School programs, published in the newsletter of the Council for American Private Education Newsletter.
When she met with CAPE’s board of directors and state representatives last month, Libby Doggett, deputy assistant secretary for policy and early learning at the U.S. Department of Education, urged the CAPE community to weigh in on the public discussion regarding the design of the new Preschool Development Grants competition.
The private school community responded in force, with various CAPE member organizations and CAPE itself offering comments at a public meeting March 20 and through an online forum established to solicit input.
CAPE’s comments called for the new grants program to be open to diverse approaches to early education, observing that there is “no single combination of activities, lessons, methods, and settings best suited for all children in all circumstances.”
Specifically, CAPE recommended that the federal government require as an explicit condition for receiving a grant, “that a state’s quality rating system, professional development requirements, training and credentialing requirements, curriculum guidelines, even health and safety standards respect and accommodate a variety of truly distinctive approaches to quality early education, including those practiced in Montessori programs, faith-based programs, and Waldorf programs.”
Montessori programs, which are universally recognized as a time-honored, high-quality approach to education, sometimes run into difficulties in states that insist on a one-size-fits-all approach to pre-K. State standards can undermine the pedagogy and theory of child development espoused by the Montessori community.
The competition should insist that such standards only be developed “in consultation with representatives from the diverse early education community,” said CAPE.