Kimberly Haskins of the Barr Foundation has written a post on A New Model of Quality Improvement in Early Education, an interesting pilot project in Boston. Participating early education programs begin with a needs assessment that informs an improvement plan. The plans include targeted professional development and coaching to address the site’s identified needs. According to Haskins,
This multi-year initiative seeks to advance early education programs in Boston centers and home-based care sites to the highest level of quality, ensuring that all programs: 1) identify the needs of children; 2) provide appropriate resources and supports to meet those needs; and 3) demonstrate measurable improvement in child outcomes. The goal is for programs to build their capacity to use data for continuous quality improvement.
In its first year, the Ready Educators Quality Improvement Pilot worked with ten center-based early education programs, one large family childcare system, and four of its home-based providers. Each participating program was assessed to identify its strengths and areas for improvement. Based on these assessments, Wellesley Centers for Women helped the programs develop customized improvement plans, including targeted professional development, coaching, and consultation.
Thus far, the results look promising.
See Haskins’ post for additional information.
Strategies for Children (SFC) has released a new brief describing the work of the Massachusetts Third Grade Reading Proficiency Learning Network: Changing the Trajectory: Communities Take Action to Increase Reading Proficiency. SFC convened a group of Massachusetts communities to engage in a strategic planning process in collaboration with Harvard literacy expert, Nonie Lesaux. This process included a robust impact analysis drawing on two tools: a Program Design Evaluation Tool and a Funding Analysis/Stability Index.
According to the brief, “After one year of engaging in this comprehensive and innovative effort, these four Massachusetts communities have:
- Refined strategic plans;
- Developed a comprehensive asset map of resources and outcomes;
- Created a profile of the public and private funding supporting those resources; and
- Determined an action plan for more effective and impactful resource allocation and coordination.”
Check out Changing the Trajectory to learn more about this important work.
Other resources of note:
The current issue of American Educator is on early childhood education. Articles include:
- The Magic of Words: Teaching Vocabulary in the Early Childhood Classroom
- Starting off Strong: The Importance of Early Learning
- Taken for Granted: Why Curriculum Content Is Like Oxygen
Vicky Shippers makes the case for 0-3 programs in an Education Week commentary, “Waiting Until Pre-K is Too Little, Too Late.”
NationSwell has a summary of early education policy and funding issues, “Ask the Experts: How Can We Fix Early Childhood Education?”
“The first eight years of life are crucial to academic success. So why aren’t early education programs a priority in the U.S.? NationSwell asks the experts.”
Upcoming Learning Hub posts:
- Implementing a new curriculum in East Boston
- Tagging along on home visits in Pittsfield
- Literacy coaching in Somerville: a teacher’s experience