Today we take a look at ELC Focus Area D, which asks states to describe their plans for building a great early childhood workforce. This Focus Area, which was worth 40 points, had 2 components:
• D(1)Developing a Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework and progression of credentials
• D(2)Supporting early childhood educators in improving their knowledge, skills, and abilities
States had to address at least one of these two components. 12 States chose to address only one component, and 35 (including D.C. and Puerto Rico) addressed both. Of the 12 states that chose to address only 1 component, 8 chose to address workforce knowledge and competencies and credentials, and only 4 chose to address supporting early childhood educators in improving their knowledge, skills and abilities.
• For D(1): The median state addressing this earned 73% of possible points, with a range from 28-100%. Delaware earned perfect marks in this section, and New Mexico earned near-perfect marks.
• For D(2): The median state addressing this earned 70% of possible points, with a range from 29-95%. Oregon, Delaware, and Massachusetts all performed well on this section.
• For D as a whole, the average score was 28.6 out of 40 possible points. Delaware, Oregon, Massachusetts, Washington, California, Maryland, North Carolina, New Mexico, and Wisconsin received the highest scores for this focus area.
As I looked through some of the scoring here, it appears that some states may have had difficulty understanding what the reviewers were looking for in each of the two sections here. D(1) appears to be more about policies, systems, and infrastructure, and D(2) to be more about programs, supports and resources for teacher professional development and higher education, but in practice it can be difficult to segregate the two. it’s also somewhat unclear why a chart that required states to state baseline numbers and set targets for the number of early childhood educators holding each credential in the state was included in the scoring for D(2), which dealt with professional development opportunities, rather than D(1), which dealt with a system of credentials.
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.