Education Opinion

ELC Score Surprise: 3 States that Didn’t Meet the Absolute Priority

By Sara Mead — January 04, 2012 1 min read

This week I look at interesting takeaways from the state ELC applications and scoring.

States competing for the Early Learning Challenge grant earned points for how well their application addressed the grant’s selection criteria, as well as how they addressed two “competitive [reference priorities.” But in addition to the selection criteria and competitive priorities, ELC also included an “absolute priority"--a priority that states have to address in order to be considered for the grant.

Three states that applied for the Early Learning Challenge--Iowa, Kansas, and West Virginia--were judged by reviewers not to meet the absolute priority (as was Puerto Rico). It doesn’t really matter, since none of these states scored well enough on the other criteria to qualify for funding. But it’s still striking that these states went to all the work of completing the grant application but failed to address the absolute priority. None of 5 reviewers thought that Iowa met the absolute priority, only one reviewer though Kansas did, and two reviewers thought West Virginia did (other states had at least one reviewer that did not think they met the absolute priority, but a majority of reviewers thought they did). How did these three states fail to meet the absolute priority?

Reviewers thought that Iowa did not provide enough information to show that its plan would result in improvements in early learning and development outcomes for high-need children. Reviewers of Kansas’ application were concerned that the state did not clearly define or identify its population of high-needs children or how its plans would address the needs of this population, and that many implementation activities were not planned before 2014. Reviewers of West Virginia’s application also felt the state did not adequately define or identify its population of children with high needs to show how activities would specifically benefit this population.

The opinions expressed in Sara Mead’s Policy Notebook are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Speech Therapists
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Elementary Teacher
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools
Elementary Teacher - Scholars Academy
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools

Read Next

Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of stories from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read