States are working to build comprehensive early childhood assessment systems to answer key questions about young children’s learning and development and the effectiveness of early childhood programs. Research and best practice will help states as they make decisions and provide leadership in developing, adopting and providing guidance on assessment of children, programs, and educators; providing professional development on how to administer and use the results of assessments; and supporting timely, useful reporting of assessment data to early childhood programs, teachers, families, school districts and state policymakers.

Tool to Guide Decisions Regarding Kindergarten Entry Assessment (KEA) Selection and Implementation

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Date: December 2017

This tool is designed to assist in the process of selecting, revision, or implementing a KEA. States have requested technical assistance to help with the Kindergarten Entry Assessments (KEA’s) decision-making process. The Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) drafted the tool and facilitated a stakeholder engagement process using the tool. (December 2017, Tool)

Key Considerations to Assist States in Developing or Revising a Kindergarten Entry Assessment (KEA) Report

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Author(s): Diane Schilder and Melissa Dahlin
Date: December 2017

This report is the result of a request from two states for technical assistance to support the selection and revision of the state’s Kindergarten Entry Assessments (KEA’s). Given that this is a national topic of interest, the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) summarized what we gathered to provide other states with this relevant and useful information.

KEA Checkpoints for Observing and Assessing Kindergarten Children

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Date: August 2017

This summary offers responses from state contacts on the NAECS-SDE listserv, who were asked about their kindergarten entry assessment and checkpoint dates. Because kindergarten is such a formative time in a child’s education and life, it is imperative for teachers to have a good understanding of where individual children are in their development, as well as the class as a whole.

Measuring Child Outcomes in the Early Years

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Author(s): W. Steven Barnett, Shannon Riley-Ayers, and Jessica Francis
Date: November 2015

This brief provides information to inform decision-making regarding the assessment of young children’s learning, development, and wellbeing (LDWB) for state and national assessments designed to influence early childhood education (ECE) policy and practice. This report draws from a scholarly discussion paper The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) produced for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that presented the pros and cons of various instruments used for reporting on international data of children’s cognitive and social outcomes.

State Approaches to Evaluating Preschool Programs

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Date: June 2015

This document presents guidance for state policy makers for evaluating the quality and effects of a preschool program. The information here will be valuable as states consider monitoring for program quality and continuous improvement as well as conducting a program evaluation for effectiveness.

Making PreK-3rd Grade Assessments Matter

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Date: June 2015

This talk was presented by Tom Schultz at the National Association of Elementary School Principals Conference in Long Beach, CA on June 30th with co-panelists Kristie Kauerz from the University of Washington and Cindy Bagwell from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. The presentation was part of a strand of sessions to highlight NAESP’s initiative to build the leadership capacity of their members in early childhood education, based on their recent publication Leading Pre-K-3 Learning Communities: Competencies for Effective Principal Practice.

Life After Pre-K: Looking at Kindergarten Assessment

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Date: May 2015

This presentation includes material to understand the components of a statewide comprehensive assessment system for all children birth to kindergarten, identify the current status of kindergarten assessments as well as commonalities/variations across states and challenges in developing kindergarten entrance assessments, identify challenges and opportunities for including children with disabilities in statewide assessments, and understand the experiences of the State of North Carolina in implementing a kindergarten assessment. Jim Squires presented with Cindy Bagwell (NC Department of Public Instruction), Mary McLean (Head Start National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning/University of Florida) and Catherine Scott-Little (UNC-Greensboro) at the 2015 National Early Childhood Inclusion Institute.

Building a Comprehensive and Aligned Assessment System for all Children: Birth to Kindergarten

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Date: May 2015

These slides review program requirements related to assessment, a comprehensive framework for aligned assessment, and recommended practices. Jim Squires presented with Mary McLean (Head Start National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning/University of Florida) and Catherine Scott-Little (UNC-Greensboro) at the 2015 National Early Childhood Inclusion Institute.

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