Kevin Lindsey (Former Staff) Senior Director, Education

Kevin Lindsey is the Senior Director, Education Policy at First Focus. In this role, he leads First Focus’ advocacy efforts on K-12 education and nutrition in an effort to ensure that every child has access to excellent public schools and adequate nutrition. He is also the co-chair of the Coalition for Teaching Quality, a coalition of over 100 civil rights, disability, education, and children’s organizations working to ensure that every child has well-prepared and effective teachers and principals. During his time at First Focus, Kevin has also worked on a number of other children's issues, including immigration, poverty, and early childhood care and education, which contributes to a deeper understanding of the holistic needs of children and how those needs relate to education policy. Prior to joining First Focus, Kevin taught English at a high school in Tongliao, China, a small city north of Beijing.

Kevin graduated magna cum laude from Providence College with a bachelor's degree in political science. While at Providence, he worked as a research assistant in the Political Science Department, as a community organizer with Clean Water Action, at Common Cause Rhode Island, and for the Rhode Island House Committee on Education. Additionally, Kevin was vice president of Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honor society, and has experience working with refugees and as an adult ESL teacher in Providence.

Resources by Kevin Lindsey

Why a child poverty target is good education policy

| June 1, 2015 |

While both the House and Senate continue work on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA, the primary federal education legislation), Congressman Danny Davis

Opposing Child Tax Credit Restriction

| July 24, 2014 |

First Focus Campaign for Children sent this letter to the U.S. House of Representatives on July 24, 2014 urging a no vote on H.R.4935, the Child Tax Credit (CTC) Improvement Act. This bill would take the CTC away from 5.5 million children, including 4.5 million citizen children, who have immigrant parents that file their taxes with an IRS-issued Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. With child poverty at a 20-year high, the letter urges Congress to take proactive steps to reduce child poverty instead of taking this proven poverty reduction method away from millions of children.

CORE Excellence Act Delivers Accountability Kids Need

| July 10, 2014 |

In recent years, federal accountability for education has focused solely on outcomes while remaining silent on the inputs necessary to bring about those outcomes. In other words, students, teachers, and schools are being punished when they do not meet certain federal standards for achievement on standardized tests. Those punishments include holding children back, not allowing students to graduate, mass teacher lay-offs, and closing schools.

To Senate HELP Committee Supporting the Strong Start for America’s Children Act

| May 8, 2014 |

This letter, sent to members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on May 13, 2014, urges them to vote to pass the Strong Start for America’s Children Act (S. 1697) out of committee with no significant changes. The letter outlines the numerous ways the bill would benefit children, why the federal government should invest in early education now, and important provisions of the legislation that should remain unchanged.

Bipartisan Bill Re-Examines Overuse of Standardized Tests

| April 8, 2014 |

Since the passage of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) in 2001, which requires students to take state-administered standardized tests in math and reading/language arts in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 in addition to once per the grade spans 3-5, 6-9, and 10-12, students, teachers, and schools have become unnecessarily overburdened by the growth of standardized testing.

In a Divided Congress, Bipartisan Vote Shows Senators Working together for Children

| March 18, 2014 |

Last week, the Senate passed the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Reauthorization Act of 2013 (S.1086), sponsored by Senators Burr (R-NC), Mikulski (D-MD), Alexander (R-TN) and Harkin (D-IA), with an overwhelmingly positive 96-2 vote. This act of bipartisanship, which has become rare in the 113th Congress, reveals what is possible when policymakers work together in the best interest of children.

On Lee Child Care Amendment

| March 13, 2014 |

This letter was sent to Senate offices on March 13th urging opposition to S.Amdt.2820, an amendment sponsored by Senator Lee to the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Reauthorization Act of 2013 (S.1086) that would require SSNs for children to receive the benefits under CCDBG. The amendment would require parents to provide the social security numbers of children who apply for child care assistance before a family can receive the child care benefit.

Child Care Floor Debate

| March 5, 2014 |

The First Focus Campaign for Children sent this letter to the Senate on March 5, 2014 with the expectation that the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Reauthorization Act of 2013 would be considered on the Senate Floor the following day, March 6th. The letter points out that it has been 18 years since CCDBG was reauthorized and urges all Senators to vote for the bill with no significant changes through the amendment process. As the letter states, this will improve child care for all children and close health and safety loopholes in federally subsidized child care.

House Hearing on Early Childhood Education – Statement for the Record

| February 7, 2014 |

High quality early childhood education and care are essential for children’s ability to fulfill their potential later in life, yet too many young children in America today can’t access high quality early education and care. This statement briefly summarizes the volumes of research that show the long term positive impact of early education and goes on to explain that the high cost of private preschool and the limited availability of existing publicly funded early education initiatives means that many children are left out.

Strong Start for America’s Children Act Endorsement

| November 12, 2013 |

On November 13th, Representative Richard Hanna, Representative George Miller, and Senator Tom Harkin introduced the Strong Start for America’s Children Act. This is a letter of support to Congressman Hanna that highlights the current state of early education in America, the inequities inherent in access to early education, and how this proposal to expand access to preschool for children from low- and moderate-income families will positively impact these children, their families, and the entire country.