Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Notes from the Board of Ed: RTTT Early Childhood Ed

While I'm here for the inBloom MOU, I thought I'd share some notes on what else is happening here: 
You can find a bit here on the update the Board is getting this morning on the Race to the Top Early Childhood Ed grant.

Massachusetts has received $50 million for this effort, including a great deal on teacher quality (which looks rather mixed in terms of what the focus is), nearly $8 million family and community engagement, $10 million on building infrastructure and sharing information with other state agencies.
How Early Childhood is collaborating with DESE: birth to grade three ("alignment strategy development"...?), Massachusetts Kindergarten Entry Assessment, "preschool science, technology and engineering learning standards and guidelines" (no, I'm not making that up!),
Boston, Lowell, Springfield, Somerville, and Pittsfield all "improving local early education infrastructure"
Mass Kindergarten Entry Assessment: 20 public schools used "Teaching Strategies GOLD" or "Work Sampling System" (Worcester's in the latter group) (this is the first cohort) "focus on teachers informing their instruction"..."appropriate for five and six year olds...social-emotional competencies and physical skills are equally important"
done over the course of the year
The second cohort is being recruited; 52 districts have volunteered.
preschool standards were added to the ELA standards when they were revised in 2011
preschool science standards "really set a critical course"
"World-class instructional design and assessment" critical years in birth to age five
"providers can provide support in their home language" skill in primary language determines how strong their English skills will be
"all of this would be for naught if we didn't have a data system to go behind it to tell us how we're doing"
"an early childhood component...an impact report on did those early childhood experiences have on outcome data that we look at"
Adult, child, and family literacy (Worcester's doing this one, too)...likely to use the Read and Rise program
Inter-agency service agreement with early childhood to administer about $8 million federal early childhood funds for children with disabilities

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