Kindergarten entry assessments
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Kindergarten Entry Assessments. Catherine Scott-Little, Ph.D. Human Development and Family Studies UNC-Greensboro September 12, 2012 Virginia Early Childhood Foundation. What is a Kindergarten Entry Assessment (KEA)?.

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Kindergarten Entry Assessments

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Kindergarten entry assessments

Kindergarten Entry Assessments

Catherine Scott-Little, Ph.D.

Human Development and Family Studies

UNC-Greensboro

September 12, 2012

Virginia Early Childhood Foundation


What is a kindergarten entry assessment kea

What is a Kindergarten Entry Assessment (KEA)?

  • A systematic process for collecting data related to children around the time that they enter kindergarten

    • States with KEAs vary on the timeframe for data collection

      • Just prior to kindergarten entry

      • Within approximately the first 60 days of kindergarten entry

      • Over the course of the kindergarten year

    • States vary in terms of what and how data are collected

      • Parent surveys/reports

      • Teacher surveys/reports

      • Teacher observations and portfolios

      • Direct assessment


Common purposes of kindergarten entry assessments

Common Purposes of Kindergarten Entry Assessments

  • To provide data on children’s experiences and characteristics that can be used to look back at the early childhood systems

    • Data-based approach to identify strengths and gaps in services for children before kindergarten entry

    • Improved use of resources to support children and families before kindergarten entry


Common purposes of kindergarten entry assessments1

Common Purposes of Kindergarten Entry Assessments

  • To provide data on children’s experiences and characteristics that can be used to look back at the early childhood systems

  • To give kindergarten teachers a “starting point” that they can use to guide their work with the children in their classroom/an individual child

    • Quick assessment of where children are

    • Tool to engage families early in their child’s transition to kindergarten


Trends in kindergarten entry assessments

Trends in Kindergarten Entry Assessments


Keas are increasingly common

KEAs are increasingly common

  • 43 states have a KEA or have plans for a KEA

    • 34 states described plans for a KEA in their RTT-ELC applications

    • 9 states that did not submit a RTT-ELC application have some type of KEA

  • There is variability in the assessment instruments used, how data are used, and areas of children’s learning that are assessed

  • One commonality: the person responsible for collecting the data is typically the kindergarten teacher

Bruner, & Hanus (2012); Stedron & Berger (2010); Scott-Little (2012)


Examples of state level keas

Examples of State-Level KEAs

  • Teacher survey/rating

    • Kansas Early Learning Inventory (http://www.ksde.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=aEpXmmRLZhA%3D&tabid=3293&mid=11881)

    • Vermont Ready Kindergarteners Survey(http://education.vermont.gov/new/html/pgm_earlyed/kindergarten_readiness.html)

  • Direct assessments

    • Ohio: Kindergarten Readiness Assessment-Literacy (http://www.ode.state.oh.us/GD/Templates/Pages/ODE/ODEDetail.aspx?page=3&TopicRelationID=1366&ContentID=3930&Content=127742)

  • Teacher Observations/Portfolios

    • Washington: Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WA KIDS) (http://www.k12.wa.us/wakids/)


Recent trends in kea

Recent Trends in KEA

  • KEAs that address multiple domains of children’s learning and development

    • Iowa and Ohio moved/moving from language and literacy to comprehensive assessment

  • KEAs that include commercially available instruments

    • Colorado, Delaware, Wasington: Teaching Strategies GOLD

  • KEA as part of a transition process

    • Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills

  • KEA with a combination of assessment approaches

    • Maryland and Ohio


Considerations when developing keas

Considerations When Developing KEAs


Considerations re planning process

Considerations re: Planning Process

  • Extensive amount of time and information gathering needed

  • Multiple perspectives should be represented

    • Early childhood & K-12

    • Practioner and Researcher/Assessment Experts

    • Administrators and Teachers

    • Experts in all domains/areas of children’s development that will be assessed

    • Professional development providers

    • Policy makers

    • Parents

  • Careful planning and piloting process is essential

  • Support from different constituencies/stakeholders is critical


Planning process should address several components

Planning Process Should Address Several Components

  • Instrumentation/data sources

    • Technically challenging

    • No perfect instrument

  • Initial roll out

    • Buy-in and general awareness

  • Implementation

    • Professional development and quality control

  • Data systems

    • Collection, storage and analyses

  • Long-term support and implementation


Limitations of keas to keep in mind

Limitations of KEAs to Keep In Mind

  • KEAs are not

    • Screening to identify children with potential disabilities

    • Used to make decisions about individual children’s entry to kindergarten

    • Tools to evaluate individual programs or services


Why develop a kea

Why develop a KEA?

  • Provide information that public and policy makers want—some indication that investments matter

  • Document trends over time

  • Aid in data-based decision making and efficient use of resources

  • Stimulate common understanding and dialogue between early childhood community and K-12 education system

  • Provide useful information for teachers

  • Promote parent engagement


References

References

Bruner, C., & Hanus, A. (2012). Kindergarten Entry Assessment (KEA) Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Fund Information (E1). Draft working paper.

Scott-Little, C. (February, 2012). The state of state KEAs: Past, present and future. Presentation at the BUILD/CCSSO Kindergarten Entry Assessment Conference. San Antonio, TX.

Stedron, J. M., & Berger, A. (2010). State approaches to school readiness assessment. NCSL Technical Report. Available at http://www.ncsl.org/documents/Educ/KindergartenAssessment.pdf


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