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.
Selected Resources and Websites
New! Pre-K Program Assessments hosts webinars and slides developed by the New York City Department of Education to support practitioners in using the CLASS and ECERS-R. [Programs outside of New York City should note all of the ECERS-R resources reflect the NYCDOE approved modifications to the ECERS-R tool – see the Additional Notes document for more details.]
Case Studies of the Early Implementation of Kindergarten Entry Assessments is a report from the US Department of Education that describes the development and early implementation of KEAs in 12 districts across four Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grantee states (Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington). A companion brief that shares highlights is also available.
Early Childhood Assessment – Annotated Bibliography. This document highlights resources on CEELO’s website on topics related to early childhood assessment, including policy reports, FastFacts, webinars, and videos.
Early Childhood Curriculum, Assessment and Program Evaluation addresses building an effective, accountable system in programs for children birth through age eight. It includes the statement, recommendations, and expanded resources. It is based on a joint position statement from NAEYC and NAECS-SDE.
Education Commission of the States’ Kindergarten Database provides data from primary sources outlining state policies on 11 kindergarten issues commonly addressed by state policy, including compulsory school age, kindergarten entrance age, minimum hours required for kindergarten, kindergarten readiness assessments, curriculum, ratios, and more. Users can search each topic, or can search by state, to find relevant information on current state policy.
Examining the Content and Context of the Common Core State Standards: A First Look at Implications for the National Assessment of Educational Progress examines the implications of the Common Core State Standards for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). This includes two substantial studies exploring the relationship between the content of the NAEP mathematics, reading, and writing assessments and the CCSS in mathematics and English language arts (ELA), along with two shorter white papers that explore (1) the potential for incorporating learning progressions into NAEP assessments, and (2) the implications for the NAEP program of coming changes in psychometric approaches to statewide testing.
Infant and Toddler Child Care Quality Measures Bibliography contains records for more than 1,300 instruments that have been used to conduct studies in the child care and early education field. This bibliography provides records for instruments in the collection that can be used to observe child care quality in center-based settings serving infants and toddlers.
Kindergarten Entry Assessments in RTT-ELC Grantee States – Update provides information on Kindergarten Entry Assessments (KEA) in the Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) States.This summary provides an overview of the assessment instruments currently in use or being developed. It details which States are collaborating on KEA development, provides information on the time frames for developing and conducting the assessments, and provides links to KEA homepages across the States.
Measuring Elementary School Students’ Social and Emotional Skills: Providing Educators with Tools to Measure and Monitor Social and Emotional Skills that Lead to Academic Success identifies social and emotional skills to focus on in elementary grade students (K to fifth grade), with research behind the skills and suggestions on how to incorporate skills measurement into regular classroom data collection. Tools include a teacher survey to be used with students in K to fifth grade and student survey for children in third to fifth grade.
Moving Forward with Kindergarten Readiness Assessment is a position paper from the Council of Chief State School Officer’s ECEA-SCASS, which is a learning community project for early childhood program managers and assessment specialists in state departments of education. State teams working on collaborative projects on issues of standards, assessments, data systems, and accountability & program improvement initiatives for early education, kindergarten and primary grade programs.
Preschool Assessment: A Guide to Developing a Balanced Approach examines assessment of learning among preschoolers and the trend toward increased standardized testing of young children. The brief offers definitions and applications of assessment concepts and policy recommendations essential to a balanced approach.
State of The States: Standards and Assessments is an interactive tool from the Center on Standards and Assessment Implementation that provides a snapshot of states’ standards and assessment implementation efforts.
State Approaches to School Readiness Assessment is a report from the National Conference of State Legislatures that examines how states are assessing school readiness at kindergarten and details how readiness information is used and reported within the states. A full summary of approaches used in the 25 states that perform assessments are included in an appendix.
Sue Bredekamp on Formative Assessment is a video message to early childhood specialists attending CEELO’s first annual RoundTAble conference in San Francisco (June 5-6, 2013), which aimed to deepen our understanding of using assessment as a resource to improve the work teachers do in early childhood education.
Taking Stock: Assessing and Improving Early Childhood Learning and Program Quality provides recommendations from the National Early Childhood Accountability Task Force convened to address a comprehensive vision for a state accountability system for early education programs for prekindergarten children and for linking such efforts to standards-based assessment efforts in kindergarten and the primary grades.
Uses and Misuses of Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Results describes what kindergarten readiness is and how it is assessed and discusses the beneficial uses of kindergarten readiness assessment.
Using Alternative Student Growth Measures for Evaluating Teacher Performance: What the Literature Says is a resource from the Institute of Education Sciences and the Regional Education laboratory that looks at approaches to alternative methods of evaluating student achievement in order to measure teacher performance. Currently, the most common method of measuring teacher performance is state assessments, but there are many other forms that can distinguish teacher performance which are outlined in this report.
Using Multiple Child Assessments to Inform Practice in Early Childhood Programs: Lesson from Milipitas Unified School District presents lesson learned from using multiple child assessment (DRDP and CPAA) in one California school district. The mixed-methods approach included interviews with teachers and analysis of CPAA and DRDP data. It proposes several recommendations to maximize the value of multiple assessments: work with teachers to make assessment data meaningful and actionable, offer teachers more trainig, and provide teachers with more opportunities to collaborate with colleagues.