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Reconsidering Readiness in Rhode Island: A New Look for A New Time

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Title: Reconsidering Readiness in Rhode Island: A New Look for A New Time


1
Reconsidering Readiness in Rhode Island A New
Look for A New Time
  • Early Childhood
  • Collaborating for School Success
  • February 9, 2007
  • Sharon Lynn Kagan, Ed.D.
  • National Center for Children Families
  • Teachers College, Columbia University

2
Presentation Outline
  • Part I Times, They are a-Changing!!
  • Part II Readiness Past
  • Part III Readiness Present
  • Part IV Ready Children
  • Part V Ready Schools
  • Part VI Ready Teachers
  • Part VII Ready Classrooms
  • Part VIII Ready Families and Communities
  • Part IX Ready Early Childhood System

3
Part I Times, They are a-Changing!!
4
Times They are a-Changing!! Early Childhood
The Old Image
  • Part-day programs
  • Kids play all day
  • Little linkages with health, education, or social
    services
  • Staff didnt need special training
  • Nice, but not really necessary

5
Times They are a-Changing!!More and More
Diverse Programs
  • Some ECE programs took place in child care, where
    services were full day, and usually not
    considered educational.
  • Still others took place in Head Start Programs
    that offered comprehensive services for primarily
    low-income children.
  • And still others took place in private,
    for-profit centers and family child care homes.

6
Times They are a-Changing!! Early Childhood
The Old Image
  • Result was a great deal of confusion about the
    Purposes, Places, and Possibilities
  • of
  • EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

7
Times They are a-Changing!! New Support for
Early Childhood
  • ECE is now part of every major report on American
    education (e.g., Tough Choices or Tough Times).
  • Early childhood is on the agenda of governors,
    policymakers, police chiefs, and parents.
  • Pre-k programs and state investments in pre-k
    have expanded dramatically as of 2004-2005, 38
    states invested a total of 2.8 billion in
    preschool education programs.
  • Program efficacy has been codified in quality
    rating systems in 14 states and early learning
    standards in over 40 states.

8
Times They are a-Changing!!With Support Comes
Greater Demand
  • For programs to show effectiveness and child
    outcomes
  • For programs to prepare children for school
  • For programs to link with schools and other
    community services
  • For professionalized staff

9
Times They are a-Changing!!And Demand is Now
Far-Reaching
  • Early childhood programs are supposed to
  • Reduce poverty
  • Reduce teen pregnancy
  • Reduce welfare dependency
  • Meet childrens health needs
  • Help children be better community citizens
  • Educate parents
  • Prepare parents for the workplace
  • Increase parental literacy

10
Part II Readiness Past
11
Readiness Past
  • The first time the idea of readiness was
    seriously discussed was in the late 1800s.
  • In 1893, Pestalozzi described readiness as
    reading readiness and linked the construct to
    development.
  • May and Campbell (1981) suggest that, despite
    these discussions, readiness was not given
    serious consideration until the 1920s.

12
Readiness Past
  • In 1927, Margaret Holmes wrote the first article
    about readiness, entitled
  • Investigations of Reading Readiness of First
    Grade Entrants
  • Around this time, the International Kindergarten
    Union named its first committee on reading
    readiness.

13
Readiness Past
  • Two similar, but very different constructs gained
    momentum worldwide, and vied for attention
  • Readiness for learning
  • Readiness for school

14
Readiness Past
  • READINESS FOR LEARNING
  • Advanced by child development and learning
    theorists (e.g., Gagne, Piaget, Bruner)
  • Defined as the level of development at which an
    individual has the capacity to undertake the
    learning of specific material
  • Usually the age at which the average group has
    developed the capacity

15
Readiness Past
  • READINESS FOR SCHOOL
  • Historically, equated with reading readiness, as
    we saw from the founding definitions
  • Also manifest in curricular domains (arithmetic
    readiness, handwriting readiness)
  • Much research on readiness for school
  • Been equated with family size, absent fathers,
    desirability of childrens names and bioplasmic
    forces.

16
Readiness Past
  • READINESS FOR SCHOOL
  • Readiness for school believes in fixed
  • standards of intellectual, physical, and social
    development sufficient to enable the child to
  • fulfill school requirements and to assimilate
  • the curriculum content.

17
Readiness Past
  • Readiness to Learn
  • All ages
  • Readiness fostered
  • Content is fluid and evolving
  • Gate opener
  • Readiness for School
  • Young children
  • Readiness expected
  • Content is fixed and static
  • Gate keeper

18
Readiness Past
  • Led to very practical debates
  • When should children start school?
  • What is readiness, anyway?
  • Who is responsible for getting kids ready?
  • Is readiness really a viable construct?
  • Led to much confusion in the late 80s-early 90s

19
Part III Readiness Present
20
Readiness Present
  • Late 1990s, Presidents Clinton and Bush formed
    the National Education Goals Panel
  • After some debate, decided that Goal 1 would be
    to have all children ready for school by the
    year 2000
  • Not at all likely to be achieved, but
  • Very likely to inspire debate and work

21
Readiness Present
  • National Education Goals Panel
  • Established the first major national task force
    on readiness
  • Established a Technical Work Group made up of
    scholars in the field as well as politicians
  • Worked for three years
  • REACHED A NEW CONSENSUS ON READINESS!!!!

22
National Education Goals Panel
Ready Children
Ready Programs and Schools Ready
Communities
  • School Readiness



23
Contemporary Ideas Go Even Further
  • Ready Children
  • Ready Schools
  • Ready Teachers
  • Ready Classrooms
  • Ready Families and Communities
  • Ready Early Childhood System

24
Readiness Present
  • It acknowledges that readiness to learn is
    different from readiness for school.
  • It says that environment matters for young
    childrens development.
  • It acknowledges that readiness is a condition of
    the child, the school, the teachers, the
    classroom, the family and community, and the
    ready ECE system.

25
Part IV Ready Children
26
Readiness of the Child
  • Five Dimensions of Development
  • Physical Health, Well-Being, Motor Development
  • Social Emotional Development
  • Approaches Toward Learning
  • Language and Literacy
  • Cognition and General Knowledge

27
Readiness of the Child
Physical Health, Well-Being, Motor Development
  • Physical Health Well-Being
  • Daily Living Skills personal care, hygiene,
  • Nutrition eating habits
  • Physical Fitness stamina, energy, strength, and
    flexibility
  • Safety safe practices rules regulations  
  • Motor Development
  • Gross Motor Skills walking, running, jumping,
    climbing
  •  Fine Motor Skills cutting with scissors,
    fastening buttons
  •  Sensorimotor Skills vision, hearing, touching,
    kinesthesis (e.g., kicking a ball rolling in the
    childs direction)


28
Readiness of the Child
Social Emotional Development
  • Social Development
  • Relationships with Adults forming and sustaining
  • Relationships with Peers cooperation
  • Appreciating Diversity respect similarities and
    differences
  • Adaptive Social Behavior participate in group
    empathy for others and natural world
  • Emotional Development
  • Self Concept developing knowledge of abilities,
    characteristics, and preferences
  • Self-efficacy belief in self-abilities
  • Self Control following rules, impulse control
  • Emotional Expressiveness appropriately
    expressing feelings

29
Readiness of the Child
Approaches Toward Learning
  • Approaches Toward Learning
  • Curiosity Interest in New Tasks and Challenges
    approaching learning with inquisitiveness or
    passivity characterizes a childs style of
    learning
  • Task Persistence Attentiveness enables
    children to develop and follow through on plans
    and tasks
  • Reflection Interpretation includes the
    capacity to seek models, absorb information, and
    work through alternate possibilities
  • Imagination Invention associated with the
    ability to form images of what is not actually
    present and to extend conventional thinking
  • Initiative associated with decision making,
    taking risks in learning

30
Readiness of the Child
Language, Literacy Communication
  • Language
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar Syntax
  • Meaning Comprehension
  • Literacy
  • Reading phonological awareness print awareness
    functionality, enjoyment, and appreciation
  • Writing alphabet knowledge, writing conventions,
    functionality
  • Communication
  • Listening to understand language
  • Oral and Written Communication to communicate
    effectively
  • Social Conventions of Communication

31
Readiness of the Child
Cognition General Knowledge
  • Logic Reasoning
  • Cause and effect
  • Critical thinking
  • Mathematical Numerical Knowledge
  • Numerical operations
  • Measurement
  • Social-Conventional Knowledge
  • Science
  • Social studies
  • Knowledge of the Family, Community Culture
  • Characteristics of the family and family
    functions
  • Community roles and responsibilities   
  •      
  • Creative Arts
  • Expression
  • Representation

32
Part V Ready Schools
33
Ready Schools
  • Smooth the transition between home and school.
  • Strive for continuity between early care and
    education programs and elementary schools.
  • Help children learn and make sense of their
    complex and exciting world.
  • Are committed to the success of every child.
  • Are committed to the success of every teacher and
    every adult who interacts with children during
    the school day.
  • Introduce or expand approaches that have been
    shown to raise achievement.
  • Are learning organizations that alter practices
    and programs if they do not benefit children.
  • Serve children in communities.
  • Take responsibility for results.
  • Have strong leadership.

34
Part VI Ready Teachers
35
Ready Teachers
  • Must be
  • Diverse as the children they serve
  • Well trained
  • Compensated at levels that assure job stability
    and professional development without job
    stagnation
  • Confident in uniform early learning standards
  • Knowledgeable about certification, professional
    ethics, and well charted career paths
  • Able to access high-quality education and
    training
  • Entitled to scholarship, financial, and career
    supports
  • Based in inspiring work environments that
    encourage communities of practice, reflection,
    mentorship, and professional growth

36
Part VII Ready Classrooms
37
Ready Classrooms
  • What makes classrooms ready for children?
  • We used to think the nature of teacher child
    interaction was the 1 quality ingredient.
  • The research still supports that, but to make
    that interaction most potent, weve developed a
    new think.

38
New think is
Alignment of Standards Curriculum
Assessment Leads to Quality Pedagogy and a
Ready Classroom
39
What Do We Mean By Alignment?
1. Horizontal alignment Synchronization among
standards, assessments, and curricula within a
given age level (e.g., Pre-Kindergarten and
Kindergarten). 2. Vertical alignment
Synchronization among standards, assessments, and
curricula between given age levels (e.g.,
Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten).
40
Background and Rationale
  • Why alignment is crucial
  • Without such alignment, it is impossible to
    gauge
  • If that which we want young children to know and
    be able to do relates to what is being taught
    (the alignment of standards and curriculum).
  • If that which is being assessed relates to either
    to what children should know (the standards) or
    what is being taught (the curriculum).
  • Without such an analysis of alignment,
    assessments remain inaccurate (not to mention
    costly) indicators of often irrelevant
    information.

41
Alignment at Pre-Kindergarten
  • Standards Curriculum
    Assessment
  • Greenpoint PAF CC
    PAF
  • Morning Side HS CC CC
  • Westville PAF DD
    PAF
  • Wood Hill PAF CC PAF

42
Alignment at Kindergarten
  • Standards Curriculum
    Assessment
  • Greenpoint Marie Clay FP, D
    Marie Clay/Math
  • Morning Side CTBFR DD
    DRA
  • Westville DD DD
    DRA
  • Wood Hill DD DD NA
  • Note denotes lack of alignment
  • denotes alignment

43
Standards
Morningside
Curriculum
Assessment
44
Results Unready Classrooms
  • Stronger focus on developing the whole child
    (fostering cognitive, social, emotional, and
    physical growth) in the pre-kindergarten
    documents than the kindergarten documents.
  • Stronger focus on developing language and
    cognitive development and virtually no emphasis
    on physical and motor development in the
    kindergarten documents.
  • There was virtually no vertical alignment of
    pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs
    standards, curricula, or assessments.

45
Part VIII Ready Families and Communities
46
Ready Families and Communities
  • Families need the knowledge that the early years
    really matter.
  • Families need the support to enable them to make
    the early years matter (e.g., family leave,
    family support and parenting education, health
    and mental health supports).
  • Communities need to understand the importance of
    the early years.
  • Families and communities need funding to support
    comprehensive optimal development.

47
Part IX Ready Early Childhood System
48
Early Childhood Education
Programs
FPCC
PK
HS
CC
FS/FL
Infrastructure
49
Programs Infrastructure System
Programs
HQ FPCC
HQ PK
HQ FS/FL
HQ HS
HQ CC
Infrastructure
Source Kagan, S. L., Cohen, N. E. (1997). Not
by chance Creating an early care and education
system. New Haven, CT Yale University Bush
Center in Child Development and Social Policy.
50
Gears Need to work in all areas to move the
infrastructure
Personnel Professional Development
Regulation
Financing
Informed Families, Informed Public
Standards, Assessment, and Accountability
Governance
ECE/K-12 Linkages
51
What is an Early Childhood System?
8 1 0
52
  • Gear 1 Quality Programs
  • What are quality programs?
  • Provide rich and varied learning opportunities
  • Are bathed in language
  • Actively engage children
  • Provide activities that address childrens
    individual differences (strengths and weaknesses)
  • Are characterized by inquiry, reflection, and
    curiosity
  • Produce productive outcomes for children
  • And these are measured by regulation and
    enforcement, incentives for quality, and
    facilities and capital

53
Gear 1 Quality Programs
54
Rhode Islands Quality Programs
  • Quality Rating System
  • Initiated by United Way of Rhode Island and Rhode
    Island Kids Count (with consulting help from Anne
    Mitchell and Erin Oldham) in November, 2005
  • Currently have draft standards and are still in
    design phase, working toward a pilot program
    projected for fall, 2007
  • Statewide implementation of the QRS in 2008
  • Licensing requirements
  • Day care homes
  • Group day homes
  • Child day care centers

55
Gear 2 Regulation
  • In general, more stringent regulations yield
    higher quality of service, but regulations vary
    widely.
  • Major problems are
  • large number of legal exemptions permitted
  • limited number of licensing specialists
  • poor enforcement strategies
  • Regulations are a powerful but underutilized tool.

56
Gear 3 Workforce Professional Development
  • The quality of any institution is predicated on
    the quality of its staff.
  • Yet,
  • There are uneven requirements to teach young
    children across the states and within states.
  • No single standards to teach (as in K-12) exists
    in ECE.
  • The fields current hot debate is over the
    actual requirements (AA or BA) necessary to
    teach.
  • Turnover of personnel is rampant.
  • And these are measured by qualified ECE
    professionals, adequate compensation, and
    training system.

57
Gear 3 Workforce Professional Development
58
Rhode Islands Workforce Professional
Development
  • Disparate teaching requirements between RIDE
    Standards for Approval of Educational Programs
    for Very Young Children and the Department of
    Children, Youth, and Families Regulations for
    Licensure
  • Proposed RI Quality Rating System aims to enhance
    access to formal education and training for all
    ECE teachers
  • RIDE and DCYF have begun discussions about how to
    coordinate their processes and standards.
  • HOPE (Harbor of Opportunities for Professional
    Excellence), RIs Career Development System for
    Early Care and Education, has developed core
    competencies and career lattice levels.
  • Professional development in the RI Early Learning
    Standards has been provided to more than 600
    practitioners and administrators (147 college
    credits have been awarded) since 2002.

59
Rhode Islands Workforce Professional
Development
  • Low salaries
  • Average income for full-time, year-round child
    care provider 20,210
  • But innovative benefits programs
  • Starting RIght Health Care Insurance Assistance
    Program and Child Care Provider RIte Care provide
    health insurance to many center-based and FCC
    caregivers

Source NACCRRA and Options for Working Parents.
(2006). 2006 Child care in the state of Rhode
Island. Retrieved January 26, 2007 from
http//www.naccrra.org/randd/data/docs/RI.pdf.
60
Gear 4 Informed Families, Informed Public
  • Major commitment to family engagement in
  • Programs
  • Decisions
  • Governance
  • Helps keep programs responsive to parental needs
  • Could build an advocacy base for social change
  • Problem is that families outgrow ECE and there
    is no broad constituency for public support key
    benefit of universal preschool
  • And these are measured by family education and
    support, family information and involvement, and
    public relations.

61
Gear 4 Informed Families, Informed Public
62
Informed Families, Informed Public in Rhode Island
  • Successful Start Systems Initiative (coordinated
    by Rhode Island KIDS COUNT and the Rhode Island
    Department of Health)
  • Long term goal of creating sustained political
    and public will around early childhood programs.
  • Recognizes parent education and family support as
    the first component of a successful start.
  • Provides services that are individualized to meet
    child and family needs and build on family
    strengths.
  • Supports all families, while still addressing the
    needs of children and families at high risk.
  • Moves forward with program development based on
    parent focus groups conducted in multiple
    languages, and involves parents in the design,
    delivery, and evaluation of services.

Source Rhode Island KIDS COUNT Rhode Island
Department of Health. (2005). Successful start
Rhode Islands early childhood systems plan.
Providence Author.
63
Gear 5 Financing
  • Long-term fiscal planning is almost non-existent.
  • Revenue generation strategies are multiple, but
    not systematically planned.
  • ECE is funded by Tax Strategies, Sin Taxes, Tax
    Credits, Lotteries, K-12 Funding.
  • Financing schemes tend to focus on quantity, not
    quality.
  • And these are measured by state funded programs,
    subsidy policies, CC tax provisions, family
    leave, and revenue generation.

64
Gear 5 Financing
65
Rhode Island Child Care Financing
  • Head Start allocations (2005) 21,956,386
    (6,970/child)
  • CCDF State Expenditure (matching) 9,894,525
  • TANF (2004) 13,087,316
  • School district funding for at-risk and
    low-income children
  • Early Childhood Investment Fund
  • Targeted School Aid
  • But no formal state pre-kindergarten program
  • Long-term goal of the Successful Start Systems
    Initiative universally affordable, high-quality
    programming

Source NCCIC. (n.d.) State profiles Rhode
Island Demographic information. Retrieved
January 25, 2007 from http//www.nccic.org/stateda
ta/statepro/display.cfm?stateRhode20Islanddemog
raphic.
66
Gear 6 Governance and Coordination
  • Huge debate about who should govern ECE
  • Seven different models of governance exist
    throughout the U.S.
  • All are evolving, with changes being made to
    fine-tune the structures constantly
  • From establishing State Department of ECE (MA
    GA)
  • To coordinating council with oversight for a
    single program
  • Surging awakening to this issue
  • And these are measured by kindergarten, teachers
    certificate, class size, and learning standards.

67
Gear 6 Governance and Coordination
68
Governance in Rhode Island
  • The Rhode Island Childrens Cabinet
  • Created in 1991 by state law
  • Serves as forum for information exchange among
    state departments, private service agencies, and
    the public
  • Clearly defined goals, e.g., all children will
    enter school ready to learn
  • The Successful Start Systems Initiative aims to
  • Streamline and coordinate a high-quality early
    childhood system, including parent education and
    family support, early care and education, medical
    homes, and a strong focus on the social-emotional
    development of all children.
  • Provide comprehensive services, including
    parenting and family support programs and
    childrens health care
  • The RI Executive Office of Health and Human
    Services and Successful Start recently began work
    on implementing key, cross-departmental systems
    issues outlined in the Successful Start Plan

Source NACCRRA and Options for Working Parents.
(2006). 2006 Child care in the state of Rhode
Island. Retrieved January 26, 2007 from
http//www.naccrra.org/randd/data/docs/RI.pdf.
69
Gear 7 Standards,
Assessment, Accountability
  • Most confused domain
  • Confusion about standards
  • Early learning standards, program standards, etc.
  • Confusion about program assessment vs. child
    assessment
  • Program assessment common in ECE perceived as
    sufficient
  • Confusion about different kinds and purposes of
    child assessment
  • Most controversial domain
  • Associated with high-stakes testing
  • High-stakes testing particularly detrimental to
    young children
  • Perceived as antithetical to good ECE pedagogy
  • Requires mind shift and fear decontamination

70
Gear 7 Standards, Assessment, Accountability
71
Rhode Islands Standards, Assessment,
Accountability
  • Early learning standards adopted in 2003
  • Approaches to learning
  • Social and emotional development
  • Language development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Creativity
  • Physical health and development
  • Successful Start Systems Initiative
  • Targets outcomes for children, families, and
    systems and tracks progress over time.
  • Outlines specific quality standards and
    performance measures for the states new early
    childhood system.

Source NACCRRA and Options for Working Parents.
(2006). 2006 Child care in the state of Rhode
Island. Retrieved January 26, 2007 from
http//www.naccrra.org/randd/data/docs/RI.pdf.
72
Gear 8 ECE/K-12 Linkages
  • For decades, research has indicated that it is
    critical for preschools to be linked to schools
    in order to promote continuity for children.
  • Transition activities have focused on
  • Preschool visiting days to kindergarten for
    children and parents
  • Exchange of records from pre-K to K
  • Joint training for pre-K and K teachers
  • Visits by K teachers to pre-K
  • Limited link in looking at how standards,
    curriculum, and assessments are aligned

Sources Kagan, S. L., Neuman, M. J. (1998).
Three decades of transition research What does
it tell us? Elementary School Journal, 98(4),
365-380. Love, J., Logue, M. E., Trudeau, J.,
Thayer, K. (1992). Transitions to kindergarten in
American schools Final report of the National
Transition Study. Portsmouth, NH US Department
of Education.
73
Gear 8 ECE/K-12 Linkages
74
ECE/K-12 Linkages in Rhode Island
  • State early learning standards are aligned with
    elementary grade academic standards.
  • Licensing requirements cover centers and homes
    that serve both pre-kindergarten and kindergarten
    aged young children.
  • BA requirement for lead teachers in center-based
    setting goes part of the way toward teacher
    certification parity.

Source NCCIC. (n.d.) State profiles Rhode
Island Demographic information. Retrieved
January 25, 2007 from http//www.nccic.org/stateda
ta/statepro/display.cfm?stateRhode20Islanddemog
raphic. Rhode Island KIDS COUNT. (2005). Rhode
Island Childrens Cabinet. Retrieved January 25,
2007 from http//www.rikidscount.org/matriarch/Mul
tiPiecePage.asp_Q_PageID_E_245_A_PageName_E_childr
enscabinet.
75
Reaching Readiness
Ready Children Ready Schools Ready
Teachers Ready Families and Communities Ready
Classrooms Ready Early Childhood System
Happy, healthy Rhode Island kids!
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