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Peer-reviewed policy briefs & in-depth policy analysis

Policy Briefs

Implementing 15 Essential Elements for High Quality: A State and Local Policy Scan


July 1, 2016 AccessAssessmentEconomics and FinanceFederalGovernance and AccountabilityQuality and CurriculumState & Local
W. Steven Barnett, G.G. Weisenfeld, Kirsty Clarke Brown, Jim Squires, and Michelle Horowitz

In this report we explore the extent to which 41 states, the District of Columbia, and three large cities support high-quality state-funded preschool education. The framework for our assessment of state capacity is provided by “15 essential elements” of high-quality pre-K. These can be categorized into three clusters: enabling environment, rigorous policies, and strong practices….

Responses to Top Concerns about Common Core State Standards


April 1, 2015 Quality and Curriculum
Kirsty Clarke Brown, Editor

A collection of blog posts from early childhood education experts, on concerns about Common Core State Standards in early childhood education, including selected resources for parents and educators. You can link to the first post in the series here:  http://preschoolmatters.org/2015/03/26/top-concerns-about-common-core-st… and click on the sidebar there for March and April to find other posts.

Technical Report: Kindergarten Early Learning Scale


September 1, 2014 AssessmentOutcomesQuality and Curriculum
Shannon Riley-Ayers, Kwanghee Jung, & Jorie Quinn

The Kindergarten Early Learning Scale (KELS) was developed as a concise observational assessment for young children. It examines three domains including (1) Math/Science, (2) Social Emotional/Social Studies, and (3) Language and Literacy, with a total of 10 items across the domains. Scores reported for each of the 10 items are based upon observational evidence collected by the teacher over a period of roughly three months. This [report] outlines how decisions about the content of the instrument were made, based on several criteria, and the value of the instrument. The items assessed represent the development of kindergarten children, are measurable (observable), develop on a continuum (to see growth and development over time), and are critical to present and future learning.

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


November 1, 2013 AccessOutcomes
Steve Barnett, Megan Carolan, and David Johns

This policy reported, 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), discusses the lack of access to high-quality early childhood education experiences for African-American children and offers recommendations to expand opportunities.

Trends in State Funded Preschool Programs: Survey Findings from 2001-2002 to 2011-2012


June 1, 2013 AccessEnglish Language LearnersQuality and CurriculumSpecial EducationState & Local
W. Steven Barnett, Ph.D. and Megan E. Carolan, MPP

This policy report, co-released by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) and the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO), discusses trends in enrollment, funding, and quality standards, as well as English Language Learner and Special Education students, in state-funded pre-K between 2001-2002 and 2011-2012.

Early Childhood Education: Pathways to Better Health


April 1, 2013 AccessOutcomesQuality and Curriculum

This brief presents the multiple pathways through which early childhood education programs can contribute to better health, in both the short and long term.

Getting the Facts Right on Pre-K and the President’s Pre-K Proposal


February 1, 2013 AccessEconomics and FinanceOutcomesState & LocalState Pre-K EvaluationsUniversal and Targeted
W. Steven Barnett

This policy report clears up some common misconceptions about preschool's effectiveness and benefits, particularly in regards to the Obama administration's recent fact sheet on investing in early education.

Policy Brief – Preparing Young Hispanic Dual Language Learners for a Knowledge Economy


January 1, 2013 AccessEnglish Language LearnersOutcomesQuality and Curriculum

This brief addresses issues of preschool access and quality that are specific to Hispanic children but which can also apply to some other largely disadvantaged and immigrant groups.

Policy Brief – Improving Public Financing For Early Learning Programs


April 1, 2011 Economics and FinanceGovernance and AccountabilityState & Local

This brief reviews sources and models of public financing of early care and education and makes recommendations for improving upon what currently exists so as to remove barriers to increasing program access and quality.

Policy Brief – Degrees in Context: Asking the Right Questions about Preparing Skilled and Effective Teachers of Young Children


April 1, 2011 Workforce

This brief aims to broaden the discussion about what it takes to develop and maintain effective instructional practices for preschool teachers.