A New America’s Early Education Initiative sheds light on what’s missing as states build data systems to analyze children’s progress over time. “Many Missing Pieces: The Difficult Task of Linking Early Childhood Data and School-Based Data Systems,” urges states to take steps to gather and integrate information from early childhood programs, including Head Start, childcare, and a fuller range of social services.
“There are no examples, to our knowledge, of any states that have incorporated data from the diverse array of early childhood programs into their K-12 longitudinal data systems,” write the authors of the report, Laura Bornfreund, policy analyst, and Maggie Severns, program associate for the Early Education Initiative at the New America Foundation.
Early childhood data are essential to multiple stakeholders: Teachers need longitudinal data on students in their classroom from their previous years of school to help them target their instruction and identify students who need additional help as early as possible. Researchers need data on how students have progressed over time to analyze the effectiveness of programs. State and local policymakers need data to determine where future investments should be made. State officials need data to evaluate how well teacher preparation programs equip teachers of young children with the knowledge and skills they need to be effective.
The report makes 14 recommendations to federal and state policymakers.
Excerpted from the New America Foundation website: http://www.newamerica.net/pressroom/2010/many_missing_pieces.