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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

10:15 AM -- 12:00 PM
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Accountability for Pre-K: The Role of Assessments (session #326)
As states have increased their investment in early childhood programs, policymakers are seeking evidence that their programs are producing tangible benefits -- in particular, in terms of helping children learn. The National Early Childhood Accountability Task Force, a 15-member panel of early childhood experts and policy leaders, chaired by Dr. Sharon Lynn Kagan, was convened in late 2004 to address the accountability/assessment issue. The task force was charged with providing recommendations to states on how to effectively and appropriately assess young children and early childhood programs -- and on ways to use assessment data to guide and motivate program improvement efforts. This session will summarize the recommendations of the Task Force's recently completed report and share a variety of examples state assessment, evaluation and program accountability initiatives.


Harriet Dichter, deputy secretary, Office of Child Development and Early Learning, Pennsylvania Departments of Education and Public Welfare

Sharon Lynn Kagan, Marx professor of early childhood and family policy, Teachers College, Columbia University, Connecticut

Thomas Schultz, project director, Early Education Accountability, PEW Charitable Trusts, Pennsylvania


Caroline Smith, policy associate, National Conference of State Legislatures, Colorado

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

10:00 AM -- 11:30 AM
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First Steps into the P-16 Education Pipeline: P-3 -- What it is and Why it's Important (session #425)
Creating a continuum of teaching and learning that spans the early childhood years through grade 3 is gaining the attention of policymakers as a viable strategy for addressing the "education flatline" and a persistent achievement gap. This session takes a two-pronged approach to addressing P-3 as the first phase of the education pipeline. David Lawrence will provide highlights of the Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids (SPARK) initiative in Miami-Dade County, Florida where a P-3 approach is being implemented district-wide. Community leadership and strong public-private partnerships have helped drive the success of this effort and Lawrence will provide insight and information on how those partnerships have worked successfully to scale up a P-3 approach from pilot sites to an entire district. Kristie Kauerz will provide an overview of the research-based evidence supporting the viability of a P-3 appropach as well as present tangible examples of state policies that support the implementation of P-3 practices in districts and schools.


Kristie Kauerz, early childhood/P-3 policy director, Office of Lt. Governor Barbara O'Brien, Colorado

David Lawrence Jr., president, Early Childhood Initiative Foundation, Florida

Ann Reale, Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care; ECS commissioner

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