Photo of Lillian Mongeau

Engagement Editor

Lillian Mongeau

Lillian Mongeau is the Engagement Editor and West Coast Bureau Chief. Her future as a writer was not a forgone conclusion, according to her first grade teacher, Miss. Gill. "I would like to see her put more effort into her writing," Gill wrote on Lillian's first term report card. Also, "Practice math facts to 10... She should know them without using her fingers." While Lillian still often uses her fingers to add (Common Core says it's OK), she has gone on to win several awards for her writing. Most notably, she was a 2017 Livingston Award for Young Journalists finalist for her series on public preschool in the United States. Lillian was also awarded a special citation from the Education Writers Association for a feature in The Dallas Morning News on returning to South Texas, where she'd served as a Teach For America teacher, to see her former students graduate high school. Her work for The Hechinger Report has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, and The Christian Science Monitor among other publications. Lillian is an alumna of the U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and Barnard College at Columbia University. When she's not reading the news or a novel, she likes to ski, quilt and run.

Recent Stories

Arif and Meghan Sheikh smile at their younger daughter, Amelia, 1, while picking her up from her child care center. After struggling to find care for their older daughter, the Sheikhs put Amelia’s name on the waiting list here when Meghan was just a few months pregnant.

Regardless of income level, access to quality care for 2-year-olds is tight

With few government supports and an insufficient and expensive private system, finding care for young children in the U.S. is a massive headache for new parents.

Angelina Salgado, a toddler room teacher, reads a book about colors aloud in the toddler room at the Phoenix, Ariz., branch of a model program for young children called Educare. Most state child care regulations do not require educational activities like reading aloud.

We know how to provide good child care, we just don’t insist on it

A survey of all 50 states shows that most fall behind when enforcing standards of care. Can better regulation help?

Educare Arizona classmates Nathan Jaramillo, far left, Esteban Cuevas and Melissa Gordillo “read” books during free time in their toddler classroom. Children begin learning basic literacy skills, like which direction to turn the pages, around age 2. Lillian Mongeau/The Hechinger Report

Could we improve America by treating 2-year-olds better?

Toddlers are still considered the sole responsibility of their parents, but should society be helping with their care and education?

Clark Tinker, age 2 in this photo, looks up from playing with his toy truck to listen to his mother ask him a question.

What’s it like to be two years old? Fun. Confusing. Unapologetic.

Jumping, complete sentences, an intimate knowledge of trucks and other miracles parents can expect from the ‘terrible twos’

How preschool teachers feel about science matters, new research finds

Reading and math instruction doesn’t depend on whether teachers are confident in those subjects but that’s not true for science

New research finds “Magic 8” preschool classroom practices

After a widely publicized 2015 study found inadequate quality in Tennessee preschools, Vanderbilt researcher Dale Farran decided to “do something about it”

What happens when a regular high school decides no student is a lost cause?

Trauma-informed education is spreading from alternative high schools to comprehensive ones, and it’s not always an easy fit

African-American boys who tell better stories as preschoolers may learn to read more quickly

African-American children tend to have stronger oral narrative skills in preschool, a new study says. For boys, that may pay dividends later on

The future of proficiency-based education

Will a focus on mastering skills take off in Maine, or will schools change their terms without changing their teaching?

Why Maine’s new high school graduation rules could hurt more than help

Some schools find the requirements too complicated to put in place

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