For external perspectives on “The Primary Years Agenda: Strategies to Guide District Action,” see:
See National Public Radio’s story on a new report from the New America Foundation, Skills for Success: Supporting and Assessing Key Habits, Mindsets, and Skills PreK-12.
From the NPR article:
… the best tack is to hold entire schools accountable for creating atmospheres that instill or support these qualities. This can be done using tools like school climate surveys and sharing the information publicly.
It’s a good time to have this conversation. Most states, and the federal government, have expanded access to preschool in the last year. To evaluate those programs, they use a wide palette: classroom observation, self-reporting, and more.
This report suggests importing some of that more holistic approach to accountability into the higher grades. This doesn’t mean replacing an emphasis on academic rigor with something fuzzy and hard to quantify. “It’s a false choice,” says Tooley. Schools can and should be doing both.
Be sure not to miss this important policy brief from the Early Education Initiative at the New America Foundation: Beyond Subprime Learning: Accelerating Progress in Early Education.
The report presents a vision for early education (on page 3) and 8 overarching actions for realizing that vision:
- Bridge the Continuum: Streamline Systems Across the Birth-through-Third-Grade Years
- Upgrade Educators: Professionalize and Improve the Early Education Workforce
- Emphasize Families: Develop Dual-Generation Strategies for Children’s Success
- Intentionally Support Dual-Language Learners: Embrace Children’s Languages as Assets
- Rethink Standards and Assessment: Coordinate Teaching and Learning for Young Children
- Strengthen and Improve Accountability Systems: Promote Children’s Learning and Development
- Collect and Use Data Responsibly: Inform Educators and Policymakers
- Bring Research Closer to Policy and Practice: Use Implementation Science and Openness