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.

Approaches to State Pre-K Eligibility Policy: Considerations for Policy Makers in Revising Policy to Increase Access for High Needs Children

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Author(s): Megan Carolan and Lori Connors-Tadros
Date: May 2015

This report provides policy makers with information on state-funded pre-K programs’ eligibility policies and the common risk factors used to prioritize enrollment. The risk factors with the strongest impact on children’s school readiness are summarized. The report concludes with considerations for policy makers as they review or revise eligibility to serve more children, effectively and efficiently, in high quality early education programs.  [Executive Report available here]

Incorporating Early Learning Strategies in the School Improvement Grants (SIG) Program

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Author(s): Lori Connors-Tadros, Lenay Dunn, Jana Martella, and Carlas McCauley
Date: January 2015

This report features case studies of three selected schools receiving SIG funds that have, with the support of their districts, promoted the use of early childhood programming (PK–3) as a key strategy in their schools’ turnaround models. The goal of this document is to increase the awareness and understanding of how to effectively embed PK–3 strategies in school turnaround efforts within the SIG program. CEELO collaborated with the Center on School Turnaround (CST) to develop the case studies.

December 10, 2014 letter from U.S. Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education commending the case studies to colleagues.

What Do We Know About Principal Preparation, Licensure Requirements, and Professional Development for School Leaders?

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Author(s): Kirsty Clarke Brown, Jim Squires, Lori Connors-Tadros, and Michelle Horowitz
Date: July 2014

This policy report describes findings from a CEELO review of data on 21 states’ principal licensure requirements, interviews with experts on principal preparation and professional development in seven states, and interviews with staff at the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the National Institute for School Leadership. Our research reveals an array of administrator licensure titles assigned to grade-level authority across states, some permitting principals or administrators the flexibility to oversee programs ranging from early childhood through high school. Early childhood content is not a required element of principal preparation or professional development for principals in most states, according to our findings. Very few states have any formal requirement for early childhood content in licensure for principals responsible for early education programs. Some states have developed policies and programs that acknowledge a need for integrating early childhood content, but very few have progressed beyond initial stages of providing training or outlining policies.  (July 2014, Policy Report)

Access to High Quality Early Care and Education: Readiness and Opportunity Gaps in America

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Author(s): Milagros Nores, and W. Steven Barnett
Date: May 2014

This policy report describes readiness and opportunity gaps in access to high quality early education.  The report is organized into four main sections. The first describes the “readiness gaps” at kindergarten entry as of 2010. The remaining sections examine the extent to which there are “opportunity gaps” in the early care and education services that may be associated with those readiness gaps.

Formative Assessment: Guidance for Early Childhood Policymakers

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Author(s): Shannon Riley-Ayers, PhD
Date: April 2014

This report serves as a guide and framework to early childhood policymakers considering formative assessment, outlining issues for consideration in implementing formative assessment.This guide provides a practical roadmap for decision-makers by offering several key questions to consider in the process of selecting, supporting, and using data to inform and improve instruction.

State of the States Policy Snapshot: State Early Childhood Assessment Policies

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Author(s): Diane Schilder and Megan E. Carolan
Date: March 2014

This policy brief addresses the questions: What child assessments are required of pre-K and Kindergarten providers? How are child assessment data used? The brief is based primarily on secondary analysis of data collected in the NIEER State of Preschool Yearbook and presents a snapshot of responses to questions about child assessment.

How are Early Childhood Teachers Faring in State Teacher Evaluation Systems?

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Author(s): Lori Connors-Tadros and Michelle Horowitz
Date: March 2014

This report provides state leaders and technical assistance providers with information about the design and requirements of teacher evaluations systems for early childhood teachers in 11 states. The report discusses the approach each state is taking to adapt the state system and develop resources for early childhood teachers. It identifies specific opportunities and challenges state leaders are addressing in implementing student learning objectives as an alternative method of measuring early childhood teachers’ contributions to children’s learning. The report concludes with questions for further research and recommendations for state policy makers. Executive Summary also available.

Building Capacity Through an Early Education Leadership Academy

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Author(s): Stacie G. Goffin, Goffin Strategy Group
Date: December 2013

This policy brief from Dr. Goffin was commissioned by CEELO as they begin designing an Early Education Leadership Academy (EELA) for early learning and K–Grade 3 State Education Agency/Early Learning Agency (SEA/ELA) administrators. The report concludes with a series of action suggestions based on the findings from this multi-­dimensional view of the leadership development needs of SEA/ELA early learning administrators. [Full Report] | [Executive Summary]

Equity and Excellence: African-American Children’s Access to Quality Preschool

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Author(s): W. Steven Barnett, Megan E. Carolan, and David Johns
Date: November 2013

This report discusses the lack of access to high-quality early childhood education experiences for African-American children and offers recommendations to expand opportunities. The report was released by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO), and White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African-Americans (WHIEEAA).

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