Publications and Research
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.
In 2013, preschool education received more attention in the media and public policy circles than it has for some time, in part because of a series of high-profile proposals to expand access to quality pre-K. The scientific basis for these proposed expansions of quality pre-K is impressive. This paper brings to bear the full weight of the evidence to address the following questions:
- What does all the evidence say about effective preschool education and long-term cognitive benefits?
- What are the estimated effects of state and local pre-K programs in more recent years?
- Is Head Start ineffective?
- Can government improve the quality of public preschool education?
- If states expand pre-K with temporary federal matching funds, what happens to state education budgets when that federal money is not available?
NIEER projects that in 2030 all but 1 state would spend less on education from pre-K through grade 12 under federal proposals that incentivize states to raise pre-K quality standards, offer a full school day, and serve all children under 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
At the recent STEM Smart Conference, NIEER Assistant Research Professor Kimberly Brenneman presented on the SciMath-DLL project, involves the design, development, and testing of a professional development model that integrates supports for dual language learners with high-quality math and science instruction. This session described the evidence that supports SciMath-DLL, engages participants in hands-on activities that illustrate our approach to professional development, and include an interactive discussion of challenges to, and promising solutions for, implementation of effective, research-based practice.