Massachusetts Kindergarten Entrance Assessment (MKEA)

Report
Massachusetts Kindergarten
Entry Assessment (MKEA)
FRANKLIN PUBLIC SCHOOLS
SCHOOL COMMITTEE
MAY 27, 2014
Agenda
 Background
 MKEA Initiative
 MKEA Details
 Teaching Strategies Gold
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Domains
Technology Requirements
Timeline
Professional Development
 Future
 Questions
MKEA Initiative
 From MKEA website:
 In collaboration with the Department of Elementary and
Secondary Education, EEC is implementing the
Massachusetts Kindergarten Entry Assessment
(MKEA) system, which will support school districts in using a
formative assessment tool that measures growth and learning
across all developmental domains during the child’s
kindergarten year. As part of the MKEA initiative, school
districts will use a formative assessment tool that is evidence
based and aligned with the Massachusetts Curriculum
Frameworks. EEC has identified Teaching Strategies-GOLD
System as the assessment tool for cohorts 3 and 4.
MKEA Background
 MKEA initiative stems for the federal identification of
the need to improve Grade 3 test results across the
country

Identified that Birth-5 is where the greatest need is
 Ability for federal and state government to impact Birth-
5 arena is limited, therefore the impact is on
Kindergarten
 Federal requirement for compliance is mandatory for
Race To The Top states

Must implement a kindergarten entry assessment
Massachusetts is a RTTT state
 Franklin receives no RTTT funding, but this impact our Full Day
Kindergarten grant monies

MKEA Background
 Kindergarten entry assessments provide a snapshot
of a child’s development
 At least 25 states now have laws mandating some
type of kindergarten entry assessment
 Kindergarten entry assessments can be used for a
variety of purposes
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Screening children to identify possible developmental
concerns
Providing information to teachers to inform instruction
Providing policymakers information on trends over time to
inform policy and funding decisions
MKEA Background
 Massachusetts has chosen to extend beyond the
federal requirements
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All districts with full day Kindergarten grants are required to
participate regardless of RTTT status
K Grant funding in Franklin exceeds $200,000 annually
MA is implementing the assessment using a four year phase-in
process
We are part of cohort 3 and required to administer these
assessments in 2014-2015 or we will lose our K grant funding
Massachusetts selected and is requiring use of a commercial
product called Teaching Strategies Gold
Teaching Strategies Gold
 From MKEA website:

Teaching Strategies GOLD is an assessment system for children from
birth through kindergarten designed to help teachers: observe and
document children’s development and learning over time; support,
guide, and inform planning and instruction; identify children who
might benefit from special help, screening, or further evaluation; and
report and communicate with family members and others. Teaching
Strategies GOLD also enables to teachers to (1) collect and gather
child outcome information as one part of a larger accountability
system and (2) provide reports to administrators to guide program
planning and professional development opportunities. Teaching
Strategies GOLD addresses the following Developmental Domains:
(1) Social-Emotional, (2) Physical, (3) Language, (4) Cognition, (5)
Literacy, (6) Mathematics, (7) Science and Technology, (8) Social
Studies, (9) The Arts, and (10) English Language Acquisition.
Teaching Strategies Gold
 Compatible with NAEYC
 Teaching Strategies Gold is a comprehensive
assessment system
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All assessments are based on observing children and recording
data
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Children are not “tested” using paper/pencil
Will administer a formative (diagnostic) assessment in the fall
Will administer a summative assessment in the spring to
determine growth over time
Designed to look at program quality and outcome data
Not a kindergarten readiness tool
Domains
 There are 10 domains and 38 objectives covered by
Teaching Strategies Gold
 Aligned to the Massachusetts Curriculum
Frameworks
 Covers all aspects of development and learning

MA is requiring that we test all K children next year in parts of
2 domains
Social-Emotional (all objectives)
 Cognitive (not all objectives this year)
 Approaches to Play and Learning

 In 2015-2016 will assess all 10 domains:
 Social-Emotional
 Physical
 Language
 Cognitive
 Literacy
 Mathematics
 Science and Technology
 Social Studies
 The Arts
 English Language Acquisition
Technology Requirements
 Software program and licenses provided in year one,
possibly longer

Long term costs not yet addressed
 Teachers must take data while working with students
 Teachers will be able to generate reports to access data
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Class profile, individual students, development and learning
Family communication tools in the assessment system
 Use of a portable device makes this more efficient
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Purchasing laptops in this fiscal year from remaining grant funds
and operating budgets
Will replace current desktops used by teachers
These will be repurposed in the district
 All data must be uploaded to DESE
Professional Development
 State mandated training for all teachers involved in
administering assessments:
 Classrooms, special education, Title I, ELL
 Two full days of training is required
 State offering limited stipends or compensation for subs to
districts
 Training to be done by Collaborative Education
Services- consulting group

They are the only state approved provider
Timeline
 Assessments must be administered by mid-October
 Data upload by mid-November
 Spring assessment dates not yet set
 Training of K teachers arranged for 9/3 and 9/4
 Start date for K student 9/5 (Friday) which will be
an orientation day

Principals will develop plan for that day and communicate
with families
 Students will begin full day K on 9/8 (Monday)
Questions
 http://www.mass.gov/edu/birth-grade-12/early-
education-and-care/mkea/

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