Policy Reports

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

July 2016
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. We believe that our assessments of the extent to which each element is present in each state will be useful to policy makers, researchers, and others interested in understanding how much progress each state has made and what the opportunities and barriers may be for further progress. The ratings apply to policies as of June 30, 2016.

Responses to Top Concerns about Common Core State Standards

April 2015
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 2014
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 2013
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 2013
by 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.

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

February 2013
by 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.

Early Education Enrollment and Expenditure Patterns 1995-2005

December 2010

These papers report on enrollments and expenditures for ECCE across the decade from 1995 to 2005 using three harmonized National Household Education Surveys. They explore the metrics of enrollment patterns by age of child, mother’s employment, marital status, expenditure patterns and prices paid per hour of services.

Early Learning Scale: Technical Report

September 2010

This technical report from NIEER researchers on the Early Learning Scale offers information on the use and reliability of the instrument and on the validity of the data.

New Jersey Preschool Expansion Assessment Research Study (PEARS)

December 2009

The capacity and quality of non-Abbott child care centers, Head Start programs, and school district preschool programs across New Jersey are assessed in this study by NIEER.

The APPLES Blossom: Abbott Preschool Program Longitudinal Effects Study (APPLES), Preliminary Results through 2nd Grade

July 2009

An ongoing study of New Jersey’s pre-K program finds that attending the program reduces grade retention and improves language, literacy and math skills.

Preschool Education and Its Lasting Effects: Research and Policy Implications

September 2008

Amid debate over the benefit of preschool programs, this new brief examines what researchers currently know about the potential of those programs to bring about positive change.

The Abbott Preschool Program Longitudinal Effects Study (APPLES)

June 2007

This report presents the results of a longitudinal study of New Jersey's public preschool program, which found that children attending the program improve in language, literacy and math skills through the end of their kindergarten year.

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