Assessment for quality and child outcomes

Report
Understanding the Learning Needs of Young
Children: Formative Assessment for Quality
and Child Outcomes
Department of Early Education and Care Initiatives
September, 2011
Overview of Presentation
2

Presentation will highlight the
Department’s initial strategies relative to
the Race to the Top – Early Learning
Challenge and Comprehensive
Assessment

Focus is on the Department’s work in the
area of formative assessment

Panelists will respond with the
perspective from the field
Closing the Achievement Gap:
Accountability for Quality and Outcomes
Teacher
Quality
Program
Quality
(QRIS)
Community
and Family
Context
Child
Outcomes
(formative and
summative
assessment)
Race to the Top: Early Learning Challenge

4
The Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge
application covers five key areas that “represent the
foundation of an effective early learning and
development reform agenda that is focused on school
readiness and ongoing academic success.”

Successful State Systems;

High-Quality, Accountable Programs;

Promoting Early Learning and Development
Outcomes for Children;

A Great Early Childhood Education Workforce; and

Measuring Outcomes and Progress
Measuring Outcomes and Progress (ELC)

ELC Key Definitions

States are encouraged to implement comprehensive
data systems and to use the data to improve:
• instruction,
• practices,
• services, and
• policies

States will be rewarded for implementing kindergarten
entry assessments statewide that:
• provide information across all domains of early
learning and development,
• inform efforts to close the school readiness gap, and
• inform instruction in the early elementary school
grades.
5
Comprehensive Assessment System (ELC)
Comprehensive Assessment System:
6

A coordinated and comprehensive system of multiple
assessments, each of which is valid and reliable for its
specified purpose and for the population with which it will
be used,
 that organizes information about the process and
context of young children’s learning and development in
order to help Early Childhood Educators make informed
instructional and programmatic decisions and
 that conforms to the recommendations of the National
Research Council reports on early childhood.

A Comprehensive Assessment System includes, at a
minimum-(a) Screening Measures;
(b) Formative Assessments;
(c) Measures of Environmental Quality; and
(d) Measures of the Quality of Adult-Child Interactions.
Purpose of Assessment Systems
Child Assessment

Child assessment tools, which are becoming increasingly
regarded as a marker of high quality programming, can be
used as a valuable method for educators to improve their
instruction to meet the needs of individual children as well
as inform their general program practice.
Program Assessment

7
Program assessment tools are used to measure the quality
of the program environment and teacher/child interactions.
These tools are included in most QRIS systems.
ELC Shared Definitions: Screening Measures

Screening Measures: Age and developmentally appropriate,
valid, and reliable instruments that are used to identify children
who may need follow-up services to address developmental,
learning, or health needs in, at a minimum, the areas of:
 physical health
 behavioral health
 oral health
 child development
 vision and hearing
Tool: ASQ and ASQ-SE
Purpose: Support parent understanding growth and development
Target Population: All children birth to 5
How Information is Used: To determine developmental delays
8
Licensing Requirements





9
A written progress report must be prepared periodically on the progress
of each child in the program
The program must offer parents a conference to discuss the content of
the report.
Educators must use progress reports to:
 adapt the program to the children’s individual strengths, interests,
and needs;
 to maintain ongoing communication with the child’s family, and;
 with parental permission, to facilitate the child’s transition to another
program or to kindergarten, as appropriate.
Frequency:
 For infants and children with identified special needs: every 3 months
 For toddlers and preschoolers: every 6 months
 For school age children: at least annually, at the midpoint of the
child’s program year
Content: The progress report must be based on observations and
documentation of the child’s progress in a range of activities over time
 Children younger than school age: Cognitive, Social/Emotional,
Language and Fine and Gross Motor and Life Skills
 School age children: child’s growth and development within the
parameters of the program’s statement of purpose
ELC Shared Definitions: Assessment

Formative assessment: Assessment questions, tools, and
processes that are:
(1) Specifically designed to monitor children’s progress in
meeting the Early Learning and Development Standards;
(2) Valid and reliable for their intended purposes and their
target populations;
(3) Linked directly to the curriculum
Tool: Work Sampling, High Scope, Creative Curriculum
Purpose: Guide and improve instructional practices in
Target Population: All Programs in QRIS
How Information is Used: To provide measures of growth in
children and target individualized learning plans
10
ELC Shared Definitions: Assessment

Norm referenced assessment: Assessment performed
by educators, which are trained to reliability, to
understand a child’s learning in comparison to that of
their peers or sample population.
Tool: PPVT, EVT, Woodcock-Johnson, Social Emotional test
Purpose: To assess multiple domains
Target Population: Sample of children to be determined
How Information is Used: To support understanding of
the well-being of children ages 0 -5
11
Measures of Environmental Quality

Quality Rating and Improvement System Requirements
(QRIS) - Measurement Tools

12
Programs in QRIS are required to use measurement tools
at Level 2 (self-assessment), Level 3 and Level 4 (reliable
raters)

Tool: Environmental Rating Scales (ITERS, ECERS, SACERS,
FCCERS)

Purpose: Program Quality Measures

Target Population: All Programs in QRIS

How Information is Used: To support continuous
improvement in the early education and care environments
Measures of Quality Adult-Child Interactions

Quality Rating and Improvement System
Requirements (QRIS) - Measurement Tools

13
Programs in QRIS are required to use measurement
tools at Level 2 (self-assessment), Level 3 and Level
4 (reliable raters)

Tool: Arnett Caregiver Interaction Scale, and Classroom
Assessment Scoring System (CLASS)

Purpose: Teacher and child interactions

Target Population: All Programs in QRIS

How Information is Used: To support continuous
improvement and monitoring of high quality teacher
and child interactions
Overall EEC Screening and Assessment Strategy



14
Overall Strategy
 Build a system of screening and assessments using the Early
Learning Challenge Grant
 Acknowledge that different age groups and/or capacity of the system
will require different strategies
Screening Children Age Birth-5: Population Targets
 At risk children
 Infants and toddlers: ASQ and ASQ-SE will be implemented
 Preschool children: In QRIS and Licensed programs; use CFCE for
others (set tool undecided e.g. ASQ or ESI)
 Kindergarten children: ESE and EEC will identify what screeners and
referrals are currently in use and work with districts to capture the
relevant information and track referrals.
 Multiple points of screening to measure growth
Purpose
 Understand capacity of communities to provide services to children
identified.
 Provide opportunity for intervention prior to referrals to Early
Intervention and Special Education
 Talk with families about growth and development, how to interpret
results
 Assure access to resources/family education, if the screening leads to
the identification of issues (catalogue of resources)
Overall EEC Screening and Assessment Strategy


15
Professionals targeted to administer the screening

Grantees who have a meaningful relationship with
families (CFCE, Home Visiting, Public Schools,
Maternal Health, Family Support grantees; can use
ASQ and ASQ-SE)

Embed ASQ in pediatricians’ offices through Reach
Out and Read program
Screening Tools

The ASQ is promoted in the statewide in-home
visiting and family engagement grant and the ASQ
and ASQ-SE seem to be the tools of choice.

ESE is currently surveying Full Day Kindergarten
programs in the public schools regarding the tool
they use for screening.
Formative Assessment Strategy
16

Linked to QRIS quality definition

Ensure programs have access evidence based formative
assessment for high need children, including training and
linkage with higher education

Support statewide access to selected evidence based
formative assessment tools; provide flexibility in measures
used but support consistency

Ensure information is shared with other programs including
public schools when children transition; a student
information system would enhance this

Use the state provision of the assessment tool as a link to
freeing up resources in programs to support compensation
Norm Referenced Assessment Strategy
17

Use domains of literacy, numeracy and executive
function as proxy’s for school readiness in MA.

Support for educators in administering tools to
support professional development and
compensation.

Select a random sample of children in
communities across the state through a
combination of appropriate incentives and data
infrastructure.

To validate formative assessment

To determine effectiveness of community
based strategies
EEC Comprehensive Assessment Strategy
Access to educational screenings and assessments for all children
Types:
Work Sampling,
High Scope,
Creative
Curriculum
Provider:
Public schools,
community
programs
Types:
Arnett, CLASS
Provider:
EEC programs
Formative
Assessment
Norm
Referenced
Summative
Assessment
Program Environment
(Adult/Child Interactions)
Types:
PPVT, EVT,
Woodcock
Johnson
Social/Emotional
Provider:
Public schools,
community
programs
Screening Assessments
(e.g., ASQ, ASQ-SE)
450,000 children: in communities, EEC programs, and schools
– including Child Find, CFCE programs
Early Education Screening
and Assessment Activities
19
Preschool Screening and Assessment FY10/11
20

A report by Abt Associates found across program types programs
scored high in emotional support and classroom organization,
though performed significantly lower on instructional support.

Given the low results on instructional support, EEC sought to
address this issue by supporting the implementation and utilization
of research-based comprehensive child assessment systems and
screening tools in preschool settings so that educators can
individualize their instruction by child and improve program practice.

In fiscal years 2010 and 2011, EEC awarded Associated Early Care
and Education an $800,000 Assessment Grant each year for the
purpose of providing assessment and screening training and
materials statewide.

The FY10 and FY11 Assessment Grant through Associated provided
trainings on the following assessment and screening systems
statewide:
 Ages & Stages and Ages & Stages SE (screening),
 Teaching Strategies Creative Curriculum,
 Teaching Strategies GOLD,
 High Scope COR, and
 Work Sampling System.
Preschool Screening and Assessment FY12
21

EEC will award grants to one or more Institutes of Higher Education
(IHE) or partnerships to design and coordinate training on QRIS
assessment and screening tools to support program improvement in
settings serving children birth to 13 across the Commonwealth.

This grant will be coordinated with Educator and Provider Support
networks to ensure locally that programs engaged in QRIS have
access to and are being trained to integrate assessment, screening
and use of the measurement tools into their programs and
implementation of QRIS.

The grant will be used to develop modules for Environmental Rating
Scales, Screening and Formative assessments tools that support the
existing EPS grantees to offer similar Training using a training of
Trainers (ToT) model to support sustainability and increased access
for all providers

The grant will focus on the same assessment systems utilized in FY10
and FY11
Assessment: Kindergarten Readiness

EEC and Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) are
collaborating to develop an aligned education system for
children birth through age 8 including.

As one of the initial steps EEC is working to define measures of
kindergarten readiness that can be used for at least two
checkpoints in preschool and/or at the start of kindergarten.

Information from the assessments will illustrate children’s
readiness level for kindergarten and be used to inform early
education and care and kindergarten programs about trends in
readiness and how to support individual children’s growth.

Additionally, data will be aggregated at the state level to make
statements about all children’s preparedness for kindergarten
across the Commonwealth.

This initiative will compliment work being done by the
Departments to assign state assigned student identification
numbers (SASIDS) to children statewide.
Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Model
Design and Pilot FY11

In FY11 EEC hired New York University Child and Family Policy Center
(CFPC) to conduct a Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Model Design and
Pilot Project

CFPC is designing a model of formative and/or summative assessment that
can be used in preschool and/or kindergarten in community and public
school to demonstrate children’s kindergarten readiness level, by:

Providing child-level data to educators which can be used to inform
classroom practice and individualize instruction for children;

Providing data that can be aggregated at the program level for sitebased improvement and growth tracking;

Providing sample or complete data sets that can be aggregated at the
state level to inform the school readiness level of children in MA.

CFPC trained preschool educators on administering the Peabody Picture
Vocabulary Test, Woodcock Johnson, and social-emotional assessments
with children under the supervision of the trainers.

Of 16 teachers from Head Start, day care and family day care,
 14 attended two training sessions,
 14 completed the prescribed practice with a range of 5-10 children, and
 11 were “certified” as ready to continue to independently practice
assessment within their local school context.
Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Model
Design and Pilot FY12

Goal in FY12 is to certify 76 teachers over the next 12 months to:

Increase the system-wide capacity to assess children’s progress
and readiness in ways that align with Early Learning Standard and
well as Common Core Standards

Create a professional development program that trains teachers to
administer selected measures, interpret the results, understand
implications for practice and communicate the findings to parents
as well as colleagues with whom they collaborate

Create a system for efficient entry, cleaning, and analysis of
resulting data garnered from those assessments and interface with
early childhood and care system data professionals to integrate
this data handling into regular practice

Sites in Springfield, and possibly Holyoke, and Worcester.

All 76 teachers must complete 5-10 training assessments before
becoming certified. Will use large sample of children who are 4-5
years old (N=380).

Certified teachers must conduct at least 10 assessments

Data on 760 children will be entered into a database system and
analyzed for descriptive information in summer of 2012.

Proposals are due September 16th
Help Me Grow
25

The University of Connecticut Health Center has awarded a
grant to EEC to replicate the Help Me Grow model in
Massachusetts.

A key component of the Massachusetts Help Me Grow model is
the use of the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) screener
to educate families about child development.

EEC purchased 10 Ages and Stages screeners (in English and
Spanish) to be used in a pilot program with volunteer
Coordinated Family and Community Engagement (CFCE)
grantees.

Goal is to engage families to participate in the program,
promote child development knowledge using the ASQ-3 and
ASQ:SE tool, and link children, who are identified as needing
further assessments, to community-based programs and
services.

The 15 CFCE grantees selected for the pilot received training
on the ASQ tool on August 3rd. Each pilot site received training
on ASQ, a kit of materials and access to the on-line screening
tool
Early Education Screening and
Assessment Activities:
ESE Survey of Full Day Kindergarten
Grantees (FY07)
26
Developmental Screening
Which of the following does the district use for screening
children entering kindergarten? (total n=128)











27
Early Screening Inventory (ESI)
Other tool (*see below)
DIAL-3
BRIGANCE
Districts own Screening Tool
PPVT
DIAL-R
Ages and Stages Questionnaire
DIBELS
PALS
DENVER II
60% (n=77)
26% (33)
15% (19)
12% (15)
8% (10)
6% (8)
6% (7)
5 % (6)
4% (5)
4% (5)
1% (1)
* Other screening tools mentioned: PHELPS, DALLAS, Batelle,
Daberon, Early Prevention of School Failure, Joilet, McCarthy,
Hainsworth, SIB-R, and Fluherty
Curriculum
28
Which of the following do your programs use for curriculum? (n=128)

Dev. Appropriate Practice (NAEYC)
77% (98)

Other Curriculum (** see below.)
57% (73)

Everyday Math
22% (28)

TERC’s Math Investigations
20% (25)

Scott Forseman/ERI Reading
19% (24)

Harcourt Brace (Math and/or Reading)
16% (20)

Houghton Mifflin
14% (17)

Handwriting without Tears
12% (15)

Wilson’s FUNdations
11% (14)

Social-Emotional Curriculum
10% (13)

Science (e.g., FOSS, Scholastic)
9% (12)

Active Learning
9% (11)

District developed
46% (59)

Scott Forseman Math
8% (10)

Project Approach (Katz/Helms)
7% (9)

Reggio Emilia
6% (7)

High Scope
4% (5)

Scholastic EC Program
2% (3)

Creative Curriculum
2% (2)

Montessori Approach
2% (2)

OWL
2% (2)

Bank Street
1% (1)

Building Language for Literacy
1% (1)

Learningames
1% (1)

Marazon Systems
1% (1)

Step by Step
1% (1)
Assessment
If an assessment tool is used, which one do you use? (all that apply) (n=128)

Other Assessment***
57% (n=76)

Own Assessment
53% (68)

DIBELS
48% (53)

DRA
28% (33)

Work Sampling System
27% (35)

Focused Portfolio
17% (22)

GRADE
11% (13)

None
2% (3)

Ages & Stages Questionnaire
2% (2)

High Scope/COR
1% (1)

Creative Curriculum’s assessment 1% (1)
***Assessment tools mentioned include: Standford Achievement Tests, Early
Reading Inventory, Brigance, and many assessments that are provided with
the formal curriculums noted in Question 2.
29
If you have developed your own tool, what kind of information did you start with?
(n=128)

Based on our own knowledge of child development
38% (49)

Some other basis (i.e MA Curriculum Frameworks)
23% (29)

Based on a published tool.
20% (25)
Assessment
Who does ongoing assessment (not screening)?
(total n=127)
30

Kindergarten teachers
100% (127)

Specialists/therapists
65% (82)

Instructional aides
34% (43)

Other (i.e Title1, Reading)
24% (30)

Other teachers
19% (24)

Administrators
10% (13)
Use of Assessment Data
How do you use assessment data? (all that apply) (total n=127)
31

Plan/adapt curriculum
97% (123)

Communicate with parents
96% (122)

Plan classroom activities
91% (116)

Identify children for referral to special education
91% (115)

Share with first grade teachers or others
90% (114)

Inform and complete children’s progress reports
90% (114)

Share with teachers who are working with child
89% (113)

Determine areas for more training
73% (92)

Other (i.e. Title I, to support differentiated instruction)
15% (19)
English Language Learners
List screening, assessment, and evaluation instruments that are used
with English Language Learners. Note whether they are screening,
assessment, or evaluation instruments. (total n=127)

MELA-O (Assessment)
96% (122)

Other (i.e. observation, home survey)
26% (33)

Language Assessment Scales (Assess/Eval)
20% (26)

Idea Proficiency Test (Screening)
18% (23)

Bilingual Syntax Measure (Screening/Eval)
9% (11)

MEPA
5% (5)

Early Screening Inventory (Screening)
3% (4)
Of 127 responses, 72 districts use only one instrument, 37 use two, and
18 use three with ELL students.
32
Educator Support
What types of support do teachers receive to implement an ongoing
curriculum and assessment system? (all that apply) (total n=127)

Planning time
96% (122)

Time to attend training
91% (116)

Time to meet with team members
88% (112)

Time to meet with parents to review data
86% (109)

Substitutes/stipends for training/observe other programs 84% (106)

Dedicated time to summarize and analyze assessment data 56% (71)

Time to observe other programs
53% (67)

Parental recognition of the importance of assessment
44% (56)

33
Other (e.g. professional development., special ed and/or classroom
support, team mtgs.) 12% (15)
Kindergarten Curriculum Guidelines
Check which tasks the district has accomplished (total n=127)
34

Kindergarten guidelines developed by district
98% (124)

Aligned curriculum w/MA Curriculum Frameworks
95% (120)

Aligned w/Guidelines for Preschool Learning Experiences
54% (69)

Aligned with first grade curriculum
78% (99)

Other
19% (24)
Data Systems
35
Longitudinal Data System
36

EEC is working with ESE to lay the groundwork for a longitudinal P-20
data system

The first step in facilitating the tracking of children’s participation in
social services, education, and experiences as they progress to
adulthood is the assignment of a unique identifier to each child.

This identifier allows agencies and government to evaluate the
effectiveness of social service and educational programs.

ESE already has a unique identifier for school children, the SASID
(state assigned student ID).

EEC is collaborating with ESE to have the SASID assigned to EEC
children.

As the result of an MOU between ESE and EEC, EEC began sending
data for SASID assignment to ESE starting with the teen parent
population and their children as the pilot group.

Since the project began last February 2010, 39,537 records
(including teen parents, teen parent children and preschoolers) have
been sent to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
(ESE). ESE has assigned new SASID to 30,069 records and has
identified 1,992 records with prior SASIDs.
Early Childhood Information System

In FY11 EEC laid the foundation for an Early Childhood Information
System (ECIS) that will provide real time data to close the state’s
achievement gap, which can be analyzed by the time a child is in the
3rd grade.

The ECIS will utilize assessments to measure well-being and progress at
various milestones throughout a child’s lifespan.

Implementation will include parent engagement and consent

Self-Assessment Data: EEC hopes to encourage family participation in
the ECIS by enabling them to contribute their own self-assessment
information, including data on relationships and environments.

Child Development Screening & Assessment Data: The ECIS will collect
data on child development milestones through prescribed and tested
screening and assessment tools.


37
Some of the tools now in use include the Ages & Stages
Questionnaire, Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT), Expressive
Vocabulary Test (EVT), Social and Emotional Screening, and
Woodcock-Johnson Test.
As the ECIS evolves, EEC hopes to collect assessment data through
various agencies and settings where children might be receiving
services.
Early Childhood Information System
38

Screening and Assessment - Core Developmental and
Academic Points for Data Gathering and Analysis: Five key
age/development points at which to seek cross-organization
information about specific children, and their families, which
match recent guidance from the U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services:
 Birth
 Age three
 Age four
 Age five, and
 The conclusion of the 3rd grade.

The ECIS will maintain a portal for these early childhood
providers to enter individual child-level scores.

The scores of only those children with parents who have
provided their parental consent to share this data will be
included in the child-level strength and risk analyses within the
ECIS.
The Commonwealth’s Bold Vision
Putting Policy Into Practice
Questions to Consider:
 What
is the science of formative assessment to
guide child development?
 How
does it measure growth for children?
 How
do we build capacity within programs to
complete screenings and use data at the child,
program, and community levels?
 What
are the workforce opportunities and
challenges in integrating formative assessment
into teaching practice to improve child outcomes?
 What
role does screening and assessment play in
engaging and communicating with families?
40

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