Describe the State's progress, from the time of the application through June 30, 2011 in implementing, consistent with its approved application, practices, strategies, or programs to improve educational outcomes for high-need students who are young children (pre-kindergarten through third grade) by enhancing the quality of preschool programs. Describe the State's progress specifically in implementing practices that (i) improve school readiness (including social, emotional, and cognitive); and (ii) improve the transition between preschool and kindergarten. When applicable, please provide the date(s) associated with relevant updates to laws and regulations (e.g. date of passage, date of effect).
State-reported response: NYSED is partnering with the Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) to implement QualityStars, NYS's Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS) in early childhood programs in neighborhoods served by the State's Persistently Low Achieving schools. This will build systems that will leverage community resources and align standards with professional development, and will assist participating early childhood programs in creating high quality learning environments, as well as support parents in selecting high quality programs.
The Pre-Kindergarten Standards have been adopted by the NYS Board of Regents in January 2011and are being implemented along with the Common Core Learning Standards for PK in English Language Arts and Mathematics. In an effort to provide a clear, comprehensive, and consolidated resource for early childhood professionals, the New York State Prekindergarten Learning Standards have been revised to fully encompass the Common Core Learning Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics at the prekindergarten level. In addition to editing some of the content of the Prekindergarten Learning Standards, the construct of the entire document has also been reformatted to more closely resemble the "fewer, higher, clearer" structure of the Common Core. The revision process has resulted in one draft document, the Prekindergarten Foundation for the Common Core.
Further promoting improvements in early learning outcomes for all of NYS's early learners are the additional reform initiatives specified in Invitational Priority 3. These additional items include:
- Assessment Guidance
Based on extensive research, the National Research Council's (NRC) guidelines, and feedback from around the state, the Office of Early Learning has produced the New York State Education Department (NYSED) Assessment Guidance for Early Learning (Prekindergarten through Grade 3). This document has been designed to provide guidelines for decision making with regard to curriculum, instruction, and assessment to promote positive outcomes for all of New York State's youngest learners. Materials and guidance to assist school districts with fully assessing students at kindergarten entry and with transitions in the early grades are under development.
The development of the Educational Data Portal (EDP) and the potential implications the incorporation of early childhood data could have as a real-time resource for teachers continues to be monitored. Areas of collaboration and coordination with other state agencies are being defined to identify specific data elements currently collected, as well as to determine how these variables could enable meeting the needs of all of our youngest learners at the earliest point possible.