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Assessing School Readiness in Indiana. By Michael Conn-Powers and Jessica Peters. What we wanted to know. How is SR being assessed? What components of SR are looked at? Who is assessing SR? What is done with this information? How well is it working?. How we found out.

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assessing school readiness in indiana

Assessing School Readiness in Indiana

By Michael Conn-Powers and Jessica Peters

what we wanted to know
What we wanted to know
  • How is SR being assessed?
  • What components of SR are looked at?
  • Who is assessing SR?
  • What is done with this information?
  • How well is it working?
how we found out
How we found out
  • Surveyed preschool & kindergarten teachers in Indiana
  • 229 participants responded
  • Respondents consist of
    • 185 kindergarten teachers,
    • 31 preschool teachers,
    • 4 elementary school principals, and
    • 4 child care providers
is school readiness being assessed
Is school readiness being assessed?
  • More than ¾ of respondents report that they assess school readiness
  • Over 45% of school districts in Indiana represented
specific domains of school readiness
Specific domains of School Readiness
  • Many domains are being assessed adequately or very well:
    • Health & physical well-being . . . . . . 87%
    • Language development & literacy . . 83%
    • Cognition & general knowledge . . . . 74%
specific domains of school readiness6
Specific domains of School Readiness
  • Other domains are being assessed inadequately or not at all:
    • Motor development . . . . . . . . . . . . 42%
    • Social & emotional development . . 50%
    • Approach to learning . . . . . . . . . . . 56%
when do school readiness assessments occur
When do school readiness assessments occur?
  • While the child is still in their early education/ child care program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24%
  • Spring event prior to kindergarten . . . . . . 56%
  • Summer event prior to kindergarten . . . . 15%
  • At the beginning of kindergarten . . . . . . . 48%
  • Other . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10%
context of school readiness assessment
Context of school readiness assessment
  • Assessment most often occurs in the classroom during school hours or in the school but not in the classroom
  • 50% of respondents say records are kept as part of the child’s cumulative file
  • Another 37% of respondents keep the records for at least one year
how is it being assessed
How is it being assessed?
  • Teacher observations/ judgment
  • Parent reports/ checklists
  • Teacher-created checklists and commercially published tools
  • Reports from preschool and school-wide checklists are less common
commercially published assessment tools being used
Commercially published assessment tools being used
  • Brigance
  • DIBELS
  • Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT)
  • Galileo
  • Creative Curriculum
  • DIAL-3 or DIAL-R
  • Early Prevention of School Failure (EPSF)
  • Indiana Reading Assessment
  • ISTAR/NWEA
a critical look at these tests
A Critical look at these tests
  • Brigance
    • Specific limitations of the test
    • No decisions based solely on this score
  • DIAL-3 or DIAL-R
    • Test manual states that results should not be used for instructional planning or tracking of any kind
a critical look at these tests14
A Critical look at these tests
  • Early Prevention of School Failure (EPSF)
    • Does not assess social and emotional development, cognition and general knowledge, approach to learning
  • DIBELS
    • Measures language and literacy
  • Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT)
    • Measures language and cognition
  • Indiana Reading Assessment
    • Measures language and literacy
  • ISTAR/NWEA
    • Measures cognition, language and literacy
decisions made from these results
Decisions made from these results
  • Create heterogeneous classrooms/ allocate resources (35%)
  • Recommendations are made:
    • Placement in developmental kindergarten classrooms (15%)
    • School deferment (34%)
    • Placement in special education (13%)
    • Placement in full-day versus half-day kindergarten programs (36%)
  • The results have no influence over class placements (30%)
how do the assessment results influence class work
How do the assessment results influence class work?
  • Planning curriculum & instruction (73%)
  • Determining learning groups (51%)
  • Identifying extra resources needed (73%)
  • Monitoring student progress (74%)
  • Informing families about
    • placement (50%)
    • what they can do at home (75%)
to what extent are all children included
To what extent are all children included?
  • Most respondents reported that all children are assessed in the same way
  • Children with physical and sensory disabilities or significant developmental delays or disabilities were more likely to be partially included in assessment
what did we learn
What did we learn?
  • Most schools assess SR
  • Assessment not always comprehensive
  • Important placement decisions made
  • Influences classroom instruction
  • While all children are included …
  • not always helpful for all.
next steps
Next Steps
  • Look systematically at SR assessment
    • Clarify purpose and decisions
    • Identify best assessments across domains
    • Determine who, when, where, & how
    • Strategies to make it work for all children
  • Spring workshop & Summer Institute