KEY CEELO ESSA RESOURCES
The State of Early Learning in ESSA: Plans and Opportunities for Implementation
The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), signed into law late in 2015, gives state education agencies (SEAs) the opportunity to bring early learning to the forefront of their education strategies.
The Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) recently released The State of Early Learning in ESSA: Plans and Opportunities for Implementation, a policy brief reviewing state plans submitted to the U.S. Department of Education as of October 1, 2017.
The review focuses on three key priorities for early learning in ESSA:
- Setting clear goals and policy priorities for early learning,
- Integrating early learning into school improvement, and
- Supporting early childhood educator development.
This policy brief provides guidance for best practices that can be used or adapted as SEA’s evaluate the effectiveness of their plans as states move deeper into implementation. This document also includes a chart showing how each state addresses seven areas within their ESSA plans.
Birth to Grade 3 Indicator Framework: Opportunities to Integrate Early Childhood in ESSA CCSSO/CEELO Toolkit
This newly developed resource summarizes the evidence supporting an early learning approach to school improvement, explains how early learning could fit within the framework of state ESSA plans, and reviews a list of potential indicators of access, academics, and engagement in early childhood education and considerations for states to integrate those indicators into their plans.
Drawing from the B-3 Toolkit, CCSSO and CEELO developed seven discussion guides to support The Illinois ESSA Preschool to grade 2 (P-2) Indicator Working Group. The P-2 working group was charged with recommending to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) an indicator or indicators to place weight on the P-2 years in Illinois’ accountability formula in the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan. The final report can be found here.
The discussion guides provide research, state examples and technical considerations for considering the following indicators in the state’s accountability system:
- chronic absenteeism
- class size
- gifted and enrichment
- well-rounded curriculum
- access to resources
- dual language learners
- school climate surveys
These guides may be useful to other states, and can be adapted with state specific information. For further information or technical assistance contact Lori Connors-Tadros at firstname.lastname@example.org.
View additional ESSA resources below:
ESSA BLOG! The Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) partnered with New America on a blog series highlighting early learning opportunities and challenges under the Every Student Succeeds Act. Check out the blog posts on the ESSA and Early Learning Blog.
WEBINAR (March 21, 2017 | 3:00-4:30 pm EDT) – Leading the Way: How States Are Addressing Early Learning Under ESSA. Cohosted by REL Southwest and the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO), this webinar will provide participants with resources, examples, and strategies for including early learning in their ESSA state plans. The intended audience includes state administrators responsible for ESSA state plans and state and district early childhood administrators. State leaders from Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, and Washington will describe their strategies for integrating the following key policy areas that research shows help reduce achievement gaps for young children:
- Increasing access to high-quality preschool
- Aligning and coordinating early learning programs from birth to grade
- Preparing and supporting highly effective teachers and leaders
WEBINAR RECORDING – Recorded on Oct. 2017 and hosted by CEELO and the National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education (NAECS-SDE), the webinar included information from the USED Office of Early Learning on the guidance (see below)and views from three states – North Carolina, Colorado and Arizona – on their efforts to strengthen early learning in their ESSA planning.
A Supplemental Tool for Structuring Your Plan for Preschool to Third Grade, was developed to complement CCSSO’s tool for chiefs, as state and local leaders develop their plans. The tool provides a number of questions to ensure that preschool to third grade is elevated as a priority. Two critical decisions are:
- Will your state plan have a theory of change, vision or principles that prioritizes the importance preschool to Grade 3 to achieve the goals outlined in the plan?
- Will your state establish a specific section in the state plan for early learning and/or address evidence-based strategies for preschool to Grade 3 throughout the plan?
ESSA and Early Childhood Education: Opportunities for State Leadership – On December 10, 2015, the president signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. As state education agencies develop plans to implement the ESSA, this brief from CEELO partner CCSSO, highlights opportunities to strengthen the contribution of high quality early childhood education in school reform and improvement efforts. It summarizes key ESSA provisions related to early childhood funding, policy opportunities and mandates, and suggests key questions for state ESSA planners.
And from our partners at the Council of Chief State School Officers:
- ESSA Resource Page
- Meeting in a Box Toolkit for Stakeholder Engagement on the Every Student Succeeds Act
- Developing a Comprehensive State Plan pursuant to the Every Student Succeeds Act: A Tool for Structuring Your Plan (November 2016)
- Parent Engagement Guidelines for SEAs and a Discussion Framework for SEAs to use and customize in engaging parents around ESSA – developed by CCSSO, National PTA, and Learning Heroes (November 2016)
- Digital Resources Toolkit for tools, templates and sample language to use on your website and in social media (December 2, 2016)
- Promotional Materials Toolkit to access sample flyers, e-blasts or other resources for communicating about your stakeholder engagement activities (December 2, 2016)
Title 1: Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged – Title I state report cards to include the number and percentage of students enrolled in preschool programs.
- State of Preschool: State Profiles
Title 1: Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged – Title I PreK, School districts that receive Title I funding must coordinate with early childhood programs. Districts must, regardless if they elect to use Title I resources to support early learning initiatives, undertake activities that increase coordination with early learning programs. Title I schools operating as “School Wide” programs are encouraged to address the transition to kindergarten in their comprehensive plans .
- Building State P-3 Systems: Case Studies of OR, MA, PA
- A P-3 Approach and Effectiveness in Closing Achievement Gaps in HI
Title 1: Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged – Family Engagement – Funds may be used for joint professional development inclusive of early childhood educators.
Title II: Professional Development – Professional development funds may be used for early learning capacity building.
- Non-Regulatory Guidance – Early Learning in the Every Student Succeeds Act: Expanding Opportunities to Support Our Youngest Learners – The S. Department of Education released non-regulatory guidance to help ensure young children from birth through third-grade get the strong start they need to achieve success in school and in life. This is the Department’s first comprehensive look at how the nation’s new education law supports our youngest learners.
- Webinar – ESSA Opportunities for Early Learning
- First Five Years Fund
- What Early Learning in ESSA Can Look Like for States and Local Districts – an updated (Jan. 2017) tool for states writing innovative ESSA early learning plans.
- Analysis: Early Learning Provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act
- ESSA’s Preschool Development Grants Program vs. Legacy Administration Preschool Development Grants Program
- A New Vision for Professional Learning: A Toolkit to Help States Use ESSA to Advance Learning and Improvement Systems
Mid-Atlantic Comprehensive Center (MACC@WestEd)
National Association of Elementary School Principals
National Association of State Boards of Education
National Conference of State Legislatures
New America Foundation | BUILD Initiative
Ounce of Prevention Fund