School & District Management Report Roundup

Pre-K Assessments

By Lesli A. Maxwell — February 21, 2012 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A new policy brief reviews the assessments currently used in 40 states to weigh the skills of their youngest learners and offers advice to policymakers on how to craft their own systems.

Authors Richard Coley, the executive director of research and development at the Princeton, N.J.-based Educational Testing Services, and Debra Ackerman, the lead research project manager at ETS, found that many states gauge what children are learning by observing them on a day-to-day basis while they are engaged in their usual preschool activities.

A few states—Alabama, Alaska, Nevada, and Virginia—use direct assessments to show whether a child has met a specific skill such as recognizing a letter in the alphabet. The authors caution that this approach, while reliable and valid, may not give a full picture of a child’s skills or the quality of the program he or she is enrolled in. Other states use a combination of observation and direct assessment.

The report also spells out key criteria for policymakers to weigh when choosing an assessment approach for preschoolers.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the February 22, 2012 edition of Education Week as Pre-K Assessments

Events

Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Pandemic-Seasoned Principals Share Hard-Earned Leadership Lessons
The COVID crisis has tested principals’ resolve to an unprecedented degree, but many have gleaned valuable takeaways from the experience.
6 min read
Boat on the water with three people inside. Leader pointing  forward. In the water around them are coronavirus pathogens.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
School & District Management This Intensive Internship Helps Principals Get Ready For the Job
A two-year program in Columbus City Schools gives aspiring principals the chance to dive deep into the job before actually taking the reins.
10 min read
Sarah Foster, principal of North Linden Elementary School, talks with Katina Perry in Columbus, Ohio on November 30, 2021. Columbus City Schools has a program that lets principal “test out” the principal role, before actually fully taking it on. Through the program, they work in a school for two years under a mentor principal and fill in as principal at different schools during that time.
Katina Perry, right, principal of Fairmoor Elementary School in Columbus, Ohio, meets with Sarah Foster, principal of North Linden Elementary School and Perry's mentor in a school leader internship program.
Maddie McGarvey for Education Week
School & District Management Q&A School Libraries and Controversial Books: Tips From the Front Lines
A top school librarian explains how districts can prepare for possible challenges to student reading materials and build trust with parents.
6 min read
Image of library shelves of books.
mikdam/iStock/Getty
School & District Management Opinion ‘This Is Not What We Signed Up For’: A Principal’s Plea for More Support
School leaders are playing the role of health-care experts, social workers, mask enforcers, and more. It’s taking a serious toll.
Kristen St. Germain
3 min read
Illustration of a professional woman walking a tightrope.
Laura Baker/Education Week and uzenzen/iStock/Getty