Technical Assistance

Next Generation Assessment: Early Childhood

Partner with early childhood content and assessment experts to explore valid, reliable, and appropriate ways to gather information about children’s progress throughout the early childhood years and to measure program quality to support continuous improvement.

Contact Us About This Service

Who Will Benefit

  • State and Local Early Childhood Education Leaders
  • Early Intervention Program Leaders
  • Early Care and Education Program Leaders and Staff
  • Early Elementary School Teachers and Administrators
  • Early Childhood Coaches and Trainers

Service Details

WestEd’s early childhood content and assessment staff collaborate with each client to understand specific contexts and needs, and customize resources and services accordingly. Our services are listed below. Click on each service for further details, including examples.

Consultation on State Standards and Assessment Systems

Support state education agencies in reviewing, developing, and/or revising state early learning standards and assessment systems, including providing research-based recommendations for revisions or enhancements

  • Engage practitioners, state and local early childhood stakeholders, and nationally recognized child development research experts in the above activities
  • Analyze assessment results and collaborate with state agencies in developing valid and reliable reports

For example:

  • Supported the Maryland State Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Education in the development of their Ready for Kindergarten (Early Childhood) Comprehensive Assessment System
  • Worked with Maryland and Ohio, along with a consortium of states through a 2013 Enhanced Assessment Grant, to enhance the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (a component of the Ready for Kindergarten System)
  • Conducted a validation study on the use of New Mexico’s Pre-Kindergarten Observational Assessment Tool as a Kindergarten Entry Assessment on behalf of the New Mexico Public Education Department
  • Led the development of key components of the California Department of Education’s comprehensive Early Learning and Development System, including the Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Foundations, the Preschool Learning Foundations, and the Curriculum Frameworks
  • Facilitated development of Ohio Department of Education’s Early Learning and Development Standards, and supported teachers with aligning standards, curriculum, and assessment
Early Learning Standards-Assessment Alignment
  • Conduct studies of alignment between early childhood assessments and state early learning standards
  • Advise on revisions to existing statewide assessments that will result in stronger alignment to standards

For example, WestEd has evaluated the alignment of:

  • New Mexico’s Kindergarten Observation Tool (KOT) to the state’s early learning and kindergarten standards
  • Maryland and Ohio’s Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA) to their states’ early learning standards, as well as the early learning standards of other 2013 Enhanced Assessment Grant consortium states (CT, IN, MA, and MI)
  • The Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP) assessment to California’s Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Foundations, Preschool Learning Foundations, content standards for kindergarten, the Common Core State Standards, and the Next Generation Science Standards
  • The Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS) to the Illinois standards
School Readiness Assessments
  • Design and develop valid and reliable early childhood comprehensive assessment systems, including formative assessments of child development and kindergarten entry assessments

For example:

  • Supported the Maryland State Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Education in the development of their Ready for Kindergarten (Early Childhood) Comprehensive Assessment System, which includes the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment and the Early Learning Assessment
  • Supported the New Mexico Public Education Department in the development of the Kindergarten Observation Tool
  • Developed the Kindergarten Individual Development Survey for the Illinois State Board of Education
  • Collaborated with key state partners to develop the California Department of Education Desired Results Developmental Profile assessments to support ongoing formative planning by infant/toddler, preschool, and kindergarten teachers, and program staff in after-school programs serving children ages five through 12
K–2 Summative Assessments
  • Design and develop valid and reliable criterion-referenced early childhood assessments that are linked to appropriate grade-level content of upper-grade assessment systems
  • Establish measures to track ongoing progress toward successful long-range academic outcomes, including college and career readiness

For example:

  • Supported the Tennessee Department of Education in the development of its Grade 2 Assessment
  • Developed criterion-referenced aggregate reporting of children’s progress for the California Department of Education
  • Developed criterion-referenced aggregate reporting of children’s progress for the Illinois State Board of Education
Program Quality Assessments
  • Develop and administer program quality rating systems that are responsive to the client and respectful of providers
  • Provide valid and reliable program quality assessments about structural and process aspects of quality in early care and education settings, including for use in quality rating systems or program evaluation
  • Create tools and resources to measure and enhance the effectiveness of early childhood programs and services

For example:

  • Developed and implemented the program quality assessment system for the San Francisco Quality Connections project
  • Conducted program quality assessments of preschool environments and teacher-child interactions for Los Angeles Universal Preschool
  • Developed the Program for Infant/Toddler Care Program Assessment Rating Scale
Training, Coaching, and Technical Assistance that Supports Early Childhood Assessment
  • Develop and administer comprehensive online professional development and in-person training to support reliable implementation of formative child assessments
  • Support assessors and coaches in using program quality assessments in early learning settings

For example:

  • Developed and administered California Early Childhood Online training and rater certification for the California Department of Education
  • Increase state capacity for training and support of teachers using formative child assessments through delivery of a trainer certification institute; ensure assessment fidelity through training materials, assessor support, and online conference centers
  • Provide fee-for-service training for the Program for Infant/Toddler Care Program Assessment Rating Scale
  • Provide program quality assessment training to observers and coaches as part of the San Francisco Quality Connections
  • Created online modules for the Ohio Supporting Formative Instruction in Early Learning and Development Programs Project

What Makes This Service Unique

WestEd’s Next Generation Assessment Services for Early Childhood staff are housed in one of two WestEd programs that specialize in early learning and development, and in developing standards and assessments for early learning settings.

Our staff bring years of experience and technical expertise to the work and focus on providing highly customizable services to meet each client’s unique needs.

What Research Informs the Work

WestEd’s Next Generation Assessment Services for Early Childhood are grounded in research and best-practice recommendations from seminal resources and national experts in the field of early childhood, including:

  • The National Research Council’s Early Childhood Assessment: Why, What, and How (2013)
  • The collaborative product of the American Educational Research Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Council on Measurement in Education: Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (2014)
  • The joint position statement from the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education on Early Childhood Curriculum, Assessment, and Program Evaluation: Building an Effective, Accountable System in Programs for Children Birth through Age 8 (2003)
  • The Early Childhood Education Assessment group in the State Collaboratives on Assessment and Student Standards
  • The National Academy of Science’s Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation (2015)
  • National Education Goals Panel’s Reconsidering Children’s Early Development and Learning: Toward Common Views and Vocabulary (1995)
  • Head Start Program Performance Standards (2016)

Related Past Studies and Projects

  • Ready for Kindergarten Early Childhood Comprehensive Assessment System in Maryland and Ohio
  • Enhancement of the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment in Maryland and Ohio
  • Grade 2 English/Language Arts and Mathematics Assessments in Tennessee
  • California Department of Education’s Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Foundations, the Preschool Learning Foundations, and the Curriculum Frameworks
  • California Department of Education’s Desired Results Developmental Profile
  • Illinois State Board of Education’s Kindergarten Individual Development Survey
  • Ohio Department of Education’s Early Learning and Development Standards
  • New Mexico’s Kindergarten Observation Tool
  • San Francisco Quality Connections project
  • Los Angeles Universal Preschool
  • Program for Infant/Toddler Care Program Assessment Rating Scale
  • California Department of Education: California Early Childhood Online
  • Desired Results Training and Technical Assistance Project Ohio: Supporting Formative Instruction in Early Learning and Development Programs

Cost

Costs vary based on client specifications and the breadth of services.

Learn More

To learn more about this service, please contact Matt Brunetti at mbrunet@wested.org or 415.615.3326.