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Pre-K assessments fall short on teacher performance, study says


May 15, 2013 AssessmentWorkforce
Julie Blair

Twenty states now use student performance in the early grades to assess teachers, yet current evaluation systems don’t provide an accurate picture of what’s happening in the classroom, asserts a study released today by the Washington-based New America Foundation, a nonprofit that aims to promote equity, access and excellence in education.

State lawmakers advance early childhood education bills


May 14, 2013 AssessmentEconomics and FinanceGovernance and AccountabilityOutcomesState & Local
Littice Bacon-Blood

Proposals to tie public funding to student performance and issue letter grades to Louisiana’s public and private early childhood education programs are finding easy passage through the Legislature.

State pre-K program receives praise, mixed reviews on funding


May 10, 2013 AssessmentEconomics and FinanceOutcomesQuality and CurriculumState & Local
Rachel Hoffmeyer

Two new studies on a state funded pre-K program show Arkansas is beginning to shrink the gap between low-income children and other children.  The Rutgers University study found Arkansas Better Chance students had improved scores in vocabulary and math through the second grade and in literacy through the third grade than students who did not…

Resisting ‘downward pressure’ of Common Core in early education


November 26, 2012 AssessmentGovernance and AccountabilityOutcomesQuality and CurriculumState & Local
Lesli A. Maxwell

A new paper from the National Association for the Education of Young Children was released today to help early-childhood educators walk the tightrope between the common standards’ emphasis on raising academic rigor with research results that show that play, the arts, social skills, and integrated instruction are crucial to young children’s healthy development.

Task force wants test for all preschoolers


November 16, 2012 AssessmentOutcomes
Jens Manuel Krogstad

A proposal to require all 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool to take the same test would allow the state to better track the progress of its youngest learners, according to a plan the Legislature will consider next year.

Uniform screening test will benefit schools


October 24, 2012 AssessmentOutcomes
Polly Lusk Page and Brigitte Blom Ramsey

Kentucky is taking steps to implement one common kindergarten readiness screener accompanied by best-practice guidelines for all schools. This is a collaborative effort between the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood and the Kentucky Department of Education based on recommendations from the Governor’s Task Force on Early Childhood Development.

State’s new pre-K test gets mixed reviews locally


October 11, 2012 AssessmentOutcomesState & Local
Annie Martin

Instructors in Flagler and Volusia counties had mixed reactions to the four-part test, which gauges students’ math and language skills. Children in the Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten program will see it at least twice before they complete the state-funded program.

Pilot program aims to evaluate N.J. children as early as kindergarten


October 8, 2012 Assessment
Jeanette Rundquist

It is not a typical standardized test: There are no groups of 5-year-olds sitting at little round tables, filling in bubbles on answer sheets. But the pilot program, which uses teachers’ observations to gather information on students’ performance, is nonetheless the first step in what could become a statewide assessment of kindergarten students.

Opinion: Make school readiness tests worthwhile


October 3, 2012 AssessmentOutcomesState & Local
Judith Levin

While language skills are indeed crucial elements in a child’s academic success, the strongest indicators of long-term success in school and life are social-emotional skills. These skills include self-regulation, task persistence, problem-solving and conflict resolution.

Five-year-olds put to the test as kindergarten exams gain steam


September 25, 2012 Assessment
Stephanie Simon, Reuters

'Even in the early grades, you can find students who may be at risk'