Policy

An Ocean of Unknowns: Risks and Opportunities in Using Student Achievement Data to Evaluate PreK-3rd Grade Teachers

This paper provides a snapshot of how student achievement data are being used in teacher evaluation systems today and illuminates the issues causing states and school districts the most struggles. Most states are using one or some combination of three evaluation approaches: student learning objectives, shared assessments, and shared attribution; each of these approaches carries …

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Counting Kids and Tracking Funds in Pre-K and Kindergarten: Falling Short at the Local Level

At present there exists a dearth of reliable, complete, and comparable data on PreK and Kindergarten in school districts and local communities. In order to close achievement gaps between economically disadvantaged and advantaged students, policymakers and educators must have access to data on enrollment and public funding for all young children. These data will increase …

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PreK-3rd: Next Steps for State Longitudinal Data Systems

Currently, some state governments are building longitudinal data systems that aim to: provide information on teachers and programs; identify students who would benefit from intervention and other services; evaluate programs, schools, principals, and teachers; and inform local and state policy decisions. It is essential that PreK data be included in these systems so that we …

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Watching Teachers Work: Using Observation Tools to Promote Effective Teaching in the Early Years and Early Grades

A growing number of policymakers are searching for new approaches to identify good teaching, promote it, and reward it. In the birth-to-five world, many states have developed Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) that identify, rate, and enhance the quality of programs based on a wide array of criteria, such as adult-child ratios and how …

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PreK-3rd: Principals as Crucial Instructional Leaders

This brief looks at what principals can do to build high-quality PreK-3rd grade experiences for young children and how policymakers can eliminate existing barriers and better support them to do so. The author outlines the need to improve existing principal preparation programs; foster strategies that develop effective PreK-3rd grade leaders; and update accountability systems to include …

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21st Century Teacher Education for FirstSchool: A Model of Collaborative Inquiry

Teacher education programs must include opportunities for future teachers to study contexts as well as texts, to develop a repertoire of tools for observing, assessing, and studying children’s early learning, and to acquire the skills and dispositions to do this work with others through processes of collaborative inquiry. Graduates of such a program will enter …

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