That comment the other day about advocacy for public Montessori obviously caught my attention. More people should know about the outstanding advocacy work at Montessori Forward, a website, blog, Google group, and community of Montessorians which make up a crowd-sourced yet deeply researched source for the latest advocacy and public policy news.
Now the MForward community has come out with a tool that could be a huge boost for Montessori Primary programs engaging with QRIS (Quality Rating and Improvemt Systems) policies in their states. You may have heard of the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale, or ECERS-R, a widely used instrument for rating pre-school programs under QRIS. Montessori schools can do badly on the ECERS-R for lacking multiple sets of materials, plush toys, and dress-up.
MForward’s The Montessori Guide to ECERS-R, professionally written and incorporating successful work from several states, aligns Montessori practice with the goals of the ECERS-R standards and explains our developmental theory and pedagogy. It’s available on the site for anyone to use.
I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned from Montessori Forward. Here’s a sampling:
- Montessori Forward was first on the scene with QRIS and keeps a running narrative of Montessori schools’ struggles, strategies, and successes. There’s a great page of resources here.
- Ohio recently passed charter school legislation allowing children under 5, as well as providing state teacher credentials for AMI and AMS trained teachers.
- The Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG), a multi-billion dollar piece of legislation will be revised this year for the first time since 1996 with huge implications for all of early childhood education. Here’s the post; here’s a deep dive. Amendments specifically mentioning Montessori were under consideration, but may not make into the final draft.
Follow the blog for so much more. It’s an incredible resource.