State Pre-K Assessment Policies: Issues and Status

Friday, April 20th, 2012 | Author: Patti Mulligan

State Pre-K Assessment Policies: Issues and Status

The Educational Testing Service has released a report that looks at current approaches states are using to assess children enrolled in Pre-K programs, some of the challenges of assessing young children’s learning, and suggested sound practices for states to consider implementing. State Pre-K Assessment Policies: Issues and Status (2012), by Debra Ackerman and Richard Coley, includes a summary chart of assessment practices used by the states on page 14. The document was developed to help early childhood educators and decision makers with effectively incorporating assessments into their programs to document effectiveness.

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More at Four moves to the Division of Child Development (DCD)

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011 | Author: Vivian

The North Carolina Division of Child Development (DCD) has updated its website to feature information about the changes to the More at Four program.

Effective July 1, 2011, DCD will be the lead agency for North Carolina’s prekindergarten program, to be renamed NC Prekindergarten Program (NCPK). Here is current information about the changes. Some specific questions are answered in this NCPK Frequently Asked Questions document, which will regularly be updated as details are worked out

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The Worth of Children’s Programs

Tuesday, June 07th, 2011 | Author: Tracy

As policymakers debate the merits of the best approach to improve children’s academic success, they would be well served by reading an op-ed published today in the News Observer. Duke University researchers remind us that “research scientists like ourselves can be helpful in sorting out the effectiveness of strategies that have been implemented to achieve common goals.”

They note that “over the past two decades, to realize the goal of improving children’s academic success, North Carolina has tried a strategy of investing in the first five years of life.” They are referring to Smart Start and More at Four. Kenneth Dodge, Helen Ladd, and Claire Muschkin from Duke studied these programs, asking “Do these programs work? Have they made our children better off academically?” The answer was emphatically yes. They write:

“We have analyzed data on educational outcomes for third graders over the past 12 years and find that children who were lucky enough to be born into a county at a time that it received financial support for these programs perform better in third grade than children born into that county at a time when it received less funding for these programs.

‘Perform better’ means higher average third-grade standardized test scores in reading and mathematics and fewer placements into special education for problem performance.

How much better? About a half year of schooling and 15 percent fewer special education placements. In the world of education, that is a lot better

Who benefits from these programs? The benefits we identify include not only those to children who directly participate in the programs, but to others as well. All children of a target age in a county benefit by increased standards for child care, curricula and preschool teacher qualifications. Furthermore, imagine a kindergarten classroom where more children begin the year ready to learn. The teacher will spend less time managing behavior problems and remediating children who are way behind, and more time teaching the entire group of children. Everyone benefits.

Some have asked whether both of these programs are needed. Could the state cut one program and get just as much benefit by continuing the other program?

Our findings indicate no. Each program generates a unique benefit, and the two programs yield twice as much benefit as one program.”

The researchers conclude, “The proposed state budget cuts these early childhood programs by more than 20 percent. Our analyses of the data indicate that the current level of funding for both these programs is well worth the investment.”

We need to encourage our elected officials to base their decision on the facts. Please forward this op-ed to your networks!

Read the op-ed.

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More at Four Part of NBC Education Nation

Monday, September 27th, 2010 | Author: Smart Start

This just in . . . North Carolina’s nationally-recognized More at Four pre-kindergarten program will be featured today at NBC’s two-day “Education Nation SummitTODAY, Monday, Sept. 27, at 4:30 p.m. It will be webcast live at NBC News website www.educationnation.com and www.msnbc.com.

An NBC crew spent two days interviewing pre-kindergarten administrators, teachers and children at the Tryon Hills Pre-K Center (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools) about the importance of high-quality pre-kindergarten education. The Tryon Hills Pre-K segment will precede a panel discussion at the Summit titled “A Fresh Start: Leveling the Playing Field Before School Begins.”

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