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The NIEER blog reporting on research, policy, and practice

Preschool Matters Today

Local Control in Early Education


October 16, 2013 Assessment

Local control, or at least the perception of its presence, is a closely guarded tenet in state and local politics. It provides citizens with a sense of purpose, identity, autonomy, and power, allowing local constituents to influence the policies and programs affecting them right in their front yards. We see this in matters such as…

Filling an Assessment Need with the Early Learning Scale: NIEER’s New Preschool Assessment


March 14, 2012 Assessment

As NIEER noted in a 2004 policy brief , “Child assessment is a vital and growing component of high-quality early childhood programs. Not only is it an important tool in understanding and supporting young children’s development, it is essential to document and evaluate program effectiveness. For assessment to be widely used though, it must employ methods that are…

Where State Pre-K Assessment Stands


March 8, 2012 AssessmentOutcomes

Assessment of children participating in state-funded pre-K programs has been highlighted recently, in part due to the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge funding competition’s focus on assessment strategies for our youngest learners. In response, Educational Testing Service (ETS) has submitted to the field State Pre-K Assessment Policies: Issues and Status , a timely report on the status of policies for the assessment of learning outcomes…

Wide-reaching Implications: Assessments of the Very Young


January 4, 2012 Assessment

Related Reading Multifaceted Assessment for Early Childhood Education Robert J. Wright SAGE Publications, Inc. Thousand Oaks, CA 352 pages, ISBN 978-1-41297-015-0, $49.95 Published in 2010, this book provides educators, in particular pre-service teachers, with a broad understanding of current practices in early childhood assessment. The author argues that “there has never been a time when…

NIEER’s Comments on Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge


July 11, 2011 Assessment

As NIEER noted last week , officials from the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services released draft guidelines for the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) program and will be accepting comments on those guidelines until 5pm EDT today. The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) applauds this early learning initiative and offers the following comments . –…

Teachers Must Get the Facts Out and Support Smart Evaluation, Pay and Tenure Reform


February 17, 2011 AssessmentWorkforce

These days teachers find themselves swept up in the cross currents of an education debate about how to evaluate and pay teachers that is more polarizing and ugly by the day. Some days the debate generates much more heat than light, and this topic is greatly in need of illumination. Without at doubt, change is…

What the PISA Scores Are Telling Us


December 17, 2010 AssessmentOutcomes

There is much talk in Finland these days about the country’s showing in the recent international comparison of PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) scores — not the self-congratulation one might expect from a country that topped yet again the list of high performing countries, but rather a sober look at the report’s nuances. A…