One of 22 Comprehensive Centers funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) will strengthen the capacity of State Education Agencies (SEAs) and their Offices of Early Learning to lead sustained improvements in early learning opportunities and outcomes. CEELO will work in partnership with SEAs, state and local early childhood leaders, and other federal and national technical assistance (TA) providers to promote innovation and accountability.
Based on the priorities established by the U.S. Department of Education, CEELO staff, partners, and experts will work with SEAs and other decision-makers to achieve the following goals:
- Improve states’ knowledge about and use of early childhood comprehensive assessment systems
- Enhance the use of assessment data and other information to improve program quality
- Increase the knowledge and skills of the early learning workforce
- Strengthen the alignment of birth through 3rd grade educational policies and systems
- Increase the coordination of resources and policies across statewide systems
To reach these goals, CEELO will use the following strategies to serve SEAs:
- Issue-Focused Workgroups and Learning Communities —knowledge-driven development and design teams to respond to SEAs’ identified and emerging needs. These are designed to be participant-led affinity groups to support peer-to-peer learning and collective efforts to address CEELO’s five priority goals.
- Research-Based Materials and Information—resources that ensure SEAs have access to highly relevant and timely research and promising practice to guide their decision-making.
- Technology-Supported TA—a 50-state database with key benchmarks on SEA policies and initiatives in CEELO’s priority goals; a website; a TA tracking and monitoring database; and a series of topical webinars.
- National Roundtable Annual Meetings—an annual activity to engage all 50 states in sustained examination to address each of CEELO’s five goals and to promote SEA policy and leadership development.
- Onsite and Conference TA—targeted support and consultation to states and TA offered at related national conferences.
An action-oriented partnership among CEELO staff, senior SEA early childhood managers, and other key early education policy leaders will guide what we do. CEELO staff will apply the following principles to achieve results:
- Ground Policy and Practice in Research—supporting SEAs application of research and promising practices as they set policies and build systems to manage and improve programs for young children.
- Promote Sustainable Change—encouraging effective organizational structures within SEAs to align state early childhood policies and systems across sectors and improve implementation of state initiatives in diverse local school districts and community-based early childhood programs.
- Foster Innovation and Results-Focused Approaches—creating opportunities for states to incubate new ideas for achieving measurable improvements in children’s early learning outcomes and support efforts to pilot, evaluate, implement, scale up, and sustain these initiatives.
- Reflect and Respect Diversity—addressing the cultural, linguistic, and economic diversity of children, as well as being responsive to the varied geography, demography, political context, and past history of public and private sector early childhood programs and initiatives in states.