Preschool in New Jersey New Jersey Department of Education Division of Early Childhood Education March 3, 2009
Agenda • Where we started • Where we are • Where we are going
Abbott v. Burke, 1998 “Intensive preschool and full-day kindergarten enrichment programs are necessary to reverse the educational disadvantages these children start out with.”
Critical Program Components • Early learning standards and program guidelines; • Evidence-based curricula; • A certified teacher and assistant in each class; • Maximum class size of 15 students;
Program Components • Full-day (6 hour educational day), 180-day program; • Support for English language learners; • Support for potential learning difficulties; • Professional development for key staff.
In the beginning … • Piecemeal curricula • Low enrollment- 19,000 out of an estimated 54,000 • Few certified teachers • Low classroom quality
Continuous Improvement Cycle Measure and Assess Implementation Analyze and Plan Make Modifications
Levels of Evaluation • Child • Classroom • District • Statewide
Child • Screening of all preschool children upon entry • Performance assessment to drive instruction • Tracking children’s progress
Classroom • Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Revised • Supports for Early Literacy Assessment • Preschool Classroom Mathematics Inventory • Supports for English Language Learners Classroom Assessment • Curriculum Implementation Tools
District • Self Assessment Validation System (SAVS) • District administered classroom evaluations
Self Assessment Components • Administration and Fiscal • Recruitment and Outreach • Staff Qualifications • Family Involvement • Community Collaboration • Curriculum and Program • Professional Development
Self Assessment Components • Program Evaluation • Transition • Intervention and support • Inclusion • English language learners • Head Start • Child Assessment
Statewide: (the 31 Abbott Districts) • Analyze district self-assessment data • Annual snapshots of classroom quality • Watch the numbers • Follow children’s progress
Percentage of Children by Age Group: • 74% of 3-year-old children • 87% of 4-year-old children
Where children are served: • 65% are in provider settings • 35% are in school district buildings • Inclusion of children with disabilities in all settings
Teacher Qualifications • All teachers have a bachelor’s degree (BA) and appropriate certification. • As of December 2007, the Praxis for the P-3 Certificate was required.
Classroom QualityThe Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Revised (Harms, Clifford and Cryer) 1= Inadequate 3= Minimal 5= Good 7= Excellent
Classroom QualityThe Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Revised (Harms, Clifford and Cryer) In 2000, the average the preschool program was 3.86 In 2008, the average for the preschool program was 5.20* *No difference between providers and indistrict classrooms
Ample time with developmentally appropriate materials and Activities (4.85)
Program Structure/schedules that maximize learning and minimize transitions (5.41)
How are the children doing? • Children who attended the program performed significantly better on language and math measures than those who did not.
Preschool Expansion • All at-risk 3- and 4-year-olds to attend high-quality preschool programs. • Universal preschool programs: 3- and 4-year-olds in “A” and “B” districts & “CD” districts with at-risk concentrations of at least 40%. • Targeted preschool programs: All at-risk three- and four-year-olds in all other districts
Preschool Expansion • Universal preschool programs = 1st grade times two • Targeted preschool programs = 1st grade times two times % of free and reduced (k-12)
Goal • 30,000 more children, bringing preschool enrollment to 70,000 children over 5 years • Reach at least 90% of the eligible population in all districts.
Expansion Estimates • Universal programs: • 117 districts, 57,000 enrollment • Targeted programs: • 366 districts, 16,000 enrollment
Program Elements (N.J.A.C. 6A:13A) • Full day, 6 hours, school calendar • Mixed delivery system/local agreements • For 3’s and 4’s • One certified teacher and teacher assistant for every 15 children (max)
Program Elements • A comprehensive curriculum and assessment • Classroom observation tools to drive improvement • Transition activities from entry through grade three • An annual self-assessment of the preschool program