Ever since the creation of Florida’s Voluntary Prekindergarten program, early education advocates have said the state needs to measure children’s abilities as they enter and as they leave, to determine whether their schools have helped them. After years spent slowly moving in that direction, with changing assessments and added post-testing, the State Board of Education appears poised to take the next step. It has a rule up for consideration Wednesday that would add learning gains to the kindergarten readiness rating the state gives to pre-k providers. That would make it more like the state’s K-12 accountability system, which first began calculating only passing rates and later included student growth in the mix. (Tampa Bay Times)
Research shows that teaching and learning environments for young children are most effective when they are based on findings from the science of child development, which include but are not limited to the provision of opportunities for children to engage in hands-on exploration, question-asking, and discovery; positive relationships and enriching back-and-forth social interactions; and targeted and personalized instruction that is tailored to a child’s specific needs, growth, and development across multiple domains and subject areas.