Mayor John DeStefano Appoints Early Childhood Advocate Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor to New Haven Board of Education
(10/22/2012) Mayor John DeStefano Jr. has appointed early childhood advocate Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor to the New Haven Board of Education. Dr. Jones-Taylor will be sworn in by Mayor DeStefano at the Board of Education meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, October 22 at 54 Meadow Street.
“Dr. Jones-Taylor brings to the Board of Education an expertise in early childhood development and education that will benefit all young children in New Haven. As we seek to close the achievement gap, cut the drop out rate in half and assure that all children have the resources and preparation to graduate from college, early childhood education is critical. I look forward to working with Dr. Jones-Taylor and am confident she will be a positive addition to the Board of Education,” said Mayor John DeStefano Jr.
Members of the New Haven Board of Education serve four-year terms and are appointed by the Mayor. Information on the existing board members can be found at www.nhps.net/boe.
"Dr. Jones-Taylor brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in early education to the board," said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Reginald Mayo. "One of our most important tasks as educators is to prepare our youngest children for success in school. As we continue our mission of School Change, Dr. Jones-Taylor will be a valuable asset, especially as we seek to strengthen preschool opportunities for our children."
Myra Jones-Taylor is the Director of the Office of Early Childhood Planning for Connecticut, appointed by Governor Dannel Malloy in May of 2012 to create a state-wide plan for a coordinated birth-to-eight early care and education system. Dr. Jones-Taylor also serves on the Governor’s P-20 Council, which supports collaboration among early childhood, K-12, higher education and workforce training sectors. Prior to this new role, she was an assistant professor-faculty fellow at the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at the Silver School of Social Work at New York University. She is a cultural anthropologist with expertise in early care and education policy. Her research focused on the effects of early care and education reform on child care providers in low-income urban communities and the children and families who are intended to benefit from those reforms. Her forthcoming book, Blank Slates: Urban Child Care Policy in the Age of Reform, looks at the ways in which child care providers in New Haven, Connecticut responded to changes in child care policy at the turn of the twenty-first century.
Dr. Jones-Taylor received her doctorate in American studies and anthropology from Yale University. She also holds two master’s degrees from Yale University, one in African American studies and the other in American studies. She is an Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy Fellow and a recipient of the Ford Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellowship. She is also a former New Haven Early Childhood Council member and former Honorary Faculty Research Fellow at the Humanities Initiative at New York University. She is a board member and former Board Secretary of All Our Kin, a New Haven-based organization committed to educating and empowering parents and teachers, and improving access to high-quality early care and education.
"Joining the New Haven Board of Education is an incredible opportunity to bring focus and attention to the needs of New Haven's youngest children and their families. I am eager to work with my fellow Board members to shape a more comprehensive, place-based approach to the care and education of all children, especially the infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, who call New Haven home,” said Dr. Jones-Taylor.
The New Haven Public Schools hosts the largest pre-k program in the state, offering free high quality early childhood education and services to students as young as six weeks old. New Haven first began offering early childhood programs in 1997. Since then, the percentage of New Haven students entering kindergarten with pre-K experience has increased from approximately 63 percent to 74 percent, the highest percentage of any urban district in Connecticut. All new elementary schools now offer pre-kindergarten programs.
The New Haven Public Schools is in the third year of its nationally-recognized School Change Initiative. New Haven School Change seeks to close the achievement gap between New Haven students and the statewide average, cut the dropout rate in half and ensure that every student has the academic ability and the financial resources to succeed in college.
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