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ERIC Number: ED571657
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jul-11
Pages: 285
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Implementing 15 Essential Elements for High Quality: A State and Local Policy Scan
Barnett, W. Steven; Weisenfeld, G. G.; Brown, Kirsty; Squires, Jim; Horowitz, Michelle
National Institute for Early Education Research
This report explores the extent to which states (and several large cities) are positioned to provide high quality preschool education on a large scale. States and cities that are already doing so or that could do so with modest improvements offer opportunities for advocacy to advance access to high quality early education as well as for rigorous research on the outcomes of these programs. Research in such states and cities also could help to identify with more specificity the policies and conditions associated with strong educational outcomes for children. The framework for this assessment of state capacity consists of "15 essential elements" of high-quality pre-K identified by Jim Minervino based on a research review and case studies. Minervino concluded that all of these elements must be present to a considerable extent for high quality pre-K to be implemented at scale. From this perspective, each element should not be expected to contribute independently to pre-K effectiveness. These authors believe that their assessments of the extent to which each element is present in each state will be useful to those concerned with pre-K whether or not they fully agree with this perspective. Forty-one states, D.C. and three other large cities with established pre-kindergarten programs were assessed. For each state (or program within a state) the report presents an overview of the state, a table listing the conclusions regarding each element, and the evidence that was the basis for the authors' judgment on each element. The 15 elements are organized into three sections. The first is the "enabling environment," which includes two elements that were among the most difficult to assess: political will and the capacity of preschool's administering agency to provide vision and strong leadership. The second is "rigorous, articulated early learning policies," and it has eight elements, most of which were relatively straightforward to judge. The third is "strong program practices" and contains 5 elements. This last group of elements was the most difficult to assess, as they are rated based on actual implementation, and this requires information that is not always available. The 15 essential elements are: (1) Political will including support from political leadership and, more rarely, judicial mandates; (2) A compelling vision and strong leadership from early learning leaders; (3) Well-educated (BA & ECE expertise) and well-compensated teachers (K-12 pay parity); (4) Adult-child ratio of at least 1:11; (5) At least a full school day is provided to ensure adequate dosage; (6) Two (or more) adult teaching staff in each classroom; (7) Appropriate early learning standards for preschoolers; (8) Effective curriculum that has systemic support; (9) Strong supports for education of special needs children in inclusive settings; (10) Strong supports for dual language learners; (11) High quality teaching; (12) Child assessments that are appropriate and used to inform instruction; (13) Data-driven decision-making and independent evaluation; (14) Professional development (PD) to improve individual teacher performance; and (15) Integrated systems of standards, curriculum, assessment, PD, and evaluation.
National Institute for Early Education Research. Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, 73 Easton Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. Tel: 848-932-4350; Fax: 732-932-4360; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Authoring Institution: National Institute for Early Education Research