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Peer-reviewed policy briefs & in-depth policy analysis

Policy Briefs

NIEER Pre-K Data Snapshot: State Policies Supporting Comprehensive Preschool Services


June 21, 2018 OutcomesState & Local
GG Weisenfeld Ed.D. and Nicole DiCrecchio Ed.D.

Third in a series of policy briefs addressing specific topics based on  State of Preschool yearbook  data. For the past 15 years, NIEER has been collecting information on what comprehensive services state-funded preschool programs have provided to children and families. Comprehensive services encompass health and nutrition, such as providing a daily meal, participation in transition to kindergarten activities, and referrals for those…

NIEER Pre-K Data Snapshot: Lead Teacher Workforce–Qualifications, Pay and Parity


May 29, 2018 State & LocalWorkforce
Allison Friedman-Krauss, Ph.D and Rich Kasmin, M.A.

Second in a series of policy briefs addressing specific topics based on State of Preschool yearbook data. Teachers are a strong direct determinant of preschool program quality, and state pre-k program polices influence who becomes and stays a teacher as well as the competencies they acquire. [i] This fact sheet reviews state policies regarding lead teacher qualifications, compensation, and professional…

NIEER Pre-K Data Snapshot: State Policies that Support Curriculum in Preschool


May 24, 2018 Quality and CurriculumState & Local
GG Weisenfeld

The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) researches and disseminates an annual report profiling state-funded prekindergarten programs throughout the United States. NIEER’s State of Preschool yearbook is the only national report on state-funded preschool programs with detailed information on enrollment, funding, teacher qualifications, and other policies related to quality, such as the presence of a qualified teacher and assistant, small class size, and low…

Building Capacity to Enact Change for Classroom Quality Improvement in New Jersey


January 26, 2018 Quality and CurriculumState & Local
Shannon Riley-Ayers, Sharon Ryan, Alexandra Figueras-Daniel, Vincent Costanza, and Kaitlin Northey

State Education Agencies (SEAs) across the country are working to directly impact early childhood teaching and learning in local education agencies (LEAs).  To do this, the SEA must rely on local change agents to increase classroom quality across a state. The work presented in this paper set out to build the capacity of educators, teachers…

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


June 23, 2017 Economics and FinanceFederalOutcomesUniversal and Targeted
W. Steven Barnett, Ph.D.

This policy Fast Fact was originally published in February 2013 and recently re-loaded to our website. Both science and public policy are best advanced based on impartial analysis of all the available evidence. No single study stands on its own, much less provides the definitive answers to policy questions on its own. This requires that…

In Pursuit of Pre-K Parity


April 25, 2017 Economics and FinanceState & LocalWorkforce
Marcy Whitbook, Ph.D. and Caitlin McLean, Ph.D.

A Proposed Framework for Understanding and Advancing Policy and Perspective  More than half of all state-funded pre-kindergarten (pre-K) programs now require lead teachers to earn a bachelor’s degree or higher, as do many city-funded pre-K programs, yet salaries and benefits for pre-K teachers are consistently lower than the average salary for public school elementary school…

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


July 29, 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
W. Steven Barnett, Megan Carolan, and David Johns

This policy report, 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.