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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

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
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 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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