The ECS early learning staff strives to keep policymakers on the leading edge of what's happening with state early learning systems by gathering, analyzing and disseminating information about current and emerging issues, trends and innovations in state educational early learning policy and system designs.
Purpose and scope To increase understanding and commitment to PreK-3.
Goals and Objectives
To raise awareness of critical PreK-3 issues, identify innovative ideas and policies, provide practical advice on best practices, and emphasize the rewards from readiness.
Raised awareness of critical PreK-3 issues
With funding from Pew Charitable Trusts’ Pre-K Now, ECS increased understanding and commitment to PreK-3. Key policymakers and leaders were invited to a pre-conference session on PreK-3 at the ECS National Forum in July. The first presentation, Reaping the Rewards from Readiness, described Colorado’s early childhood work over the last two decades; Lilian Katz from the University of Illinois presented a second session, Building the Foundation. In addition, a session titled Principal Leadership: P-3 Depends on It was presented at the December commissioners’ meeting.
Assembled and disseminated a monthly electronic newsletter to update the field on state PreK-3 activity and the latest research with funding from Pew Charitable Trusts/PreK-Now.
Disseminated best practices, innovative ideas and policies
To make the ECS database on state kindergarten statutes and the Early Learning section of ecs.org more accessible and informative, staff reorganized the site structure and updated resources on a broad scale.
Loaded PreK-Now archives onto the ECS website to assure accessibility on an on-going basis.
Co-sponsored a webinar with PreK-Now on teacher effectiveness, attended by stakeholders from across the country.
Facilitated a session on PreK-3 at the PreK-Now National Partners meetings.
Worked with the Colorado Early Childhood Leadership Commission on governance and facilitated a session to consider options.
Provided consultation and technical assistance to the Colorado Office of Lt. Governor Joe Garcia on development of an early learning plan. Developed recommendations and offered comments on Colorado’s technology and literacy effort spearheaded by Governor John Hickenlooper.
State Characteristics: Kindergarten
This ECS StateNote examines key components of each state's kindergarten policy, including: the lower compulsory age; entrance age; if districts must offer; and if students must attend. (Melodye Bush, Education Commission of the States, May 2011)
A monthly dissemination of research and policy updates about developments in the
Pre-K – 3 field