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Appendix B Information on Stakeholder Forum Public Forum and Information-Gathering Session July 6, 2007 AGENDA 1:00 Catherine Snow, Committee Chair, and Susan Van Hemel, Study Director. Welcome and introduction of committee. Description of the study and purpose of the forum. Review of procedure and ground rules. 1:20 Ben Allen, National Head Start Association 1:32 Tammy Mann, Zero to Three 1:44 Fasaha Traylor, Foundation for Child Development 1:56 Jerlean Daniel, National Association for the Education of Young Children 2:08 Joan Isenberg, National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators 2:20 Sally Flagler, National Association of School Psychologists 2:32 Andrea Browning, Society for Research in Child Development (brief statement) 2:40 Break 3:00 Willard Gilbert, National Association for Bilingual Education 429
430 EARLY CHILDHOOD ASSESSMENT 3:12 Felicia DeHaney, National Black Child Development Institute 3:24 Miriam Calderon, National Council of La Raza 3:36 Michael Lopez, National Center for Latino Child and Family Research 3:48 Michaelene Ostrosky, Center on the Social Emotional Foundations of Early Learning 4:00 Mark Innocenti, Division for Early Childhood, Council for Exceptional Children 4:12 Noma Anderson, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association 4:24 Guest Comments (sign up upon arrival), Maximum 3 minutes per speaker. â5:00 Adjourn BACKGROUND INFORMATION Congress and the U.S. Department of Health and Human S Â ervices (HHS) have launched multiple initiatives to invest in early childhood interventions to improve healthy development for at-risk children. These initiatives include programs such as Head Start and Early Head Start, which serve low-income chil- dren from birth to age 5, pregnant women, and their families. The programs strive to provide services responsive to the children and their familiesâ cultural, ethnic, and linguistic heritage. Assessment of childrenâs progress is a key feature of Head Start classrooms, since ensuring that children are ready for school requires systematic, comprehensive, and ongoing evaluation. Numerous types of assessments are used in Head Start programs. For example, performance standards for Head Start require that programs assess the progress of each child toward an array of positive outcomes, on an ongoing basis; programs are required to screen children to identify special needs; and children are assessed on their achievement of specific cognitive and language outcomes through the standardized National Reporting System. The chal- lenges of assessing young children are numerous, and in Head Start these challenges are compounded by the multiple cultural- and linguistic-minority origins of the children who participate in these programs.
APPENDIX B 431 Concerns about the identification of relevant developmental outcomes for young children and selection of appropriate assess- ment instruments for the Head Start program are emerging within an increasingly crowded landscape of other early interventions, including state-based early childhood education programs. An evidence-based analysis of scientific research will help to inform these efforts as well as building consensus about the appropri- ate instruments, objectives, and frameworks that should guide standards-based assessment of young children. The Study Congress included conference report language in the HHS FY2006 appropriations bill (H.Rpt. 109-300) directing HHS to sponsor a study by the National Academy of Sciences to address these issues. In response, the National Research Council (NRC) will organize an ad hoc committee to review research on devel- opmental outcomes and assessment processes for young children (ages 0-5). The committee will focus on two key topics in conduct- ing the study and preparing its report: (1) the identification of key developmental outcomes associated with children ages 0-5 that should be the focus of early childhood programming and (2) the identification of state-of-the art techniques and instruments for developmental assessments, including examination of areas where current assessment tools are inadequate. It is anticipated that the 20-month study will inform the development and imple- mentation of future testing instruments for children enrolled in Head Start programs and other early childhood interventions as well as guiding training needs for staff involved in administering and interpreting various assessments. Explicit attention will be given in the study to identification of children with various dis- abilities as well as assessments of children from minority cultures and those whose home language is not English. The study will be conducted through a collaboration between the NRC/IOM Board on Children, Youth, and Families and the NRC Board on Testing and Assessment. The study committee will convene several times, will conduct a literature review, and will commission a set of background papers to inform its delib- erations. The final study report will include a research synthesis
432 EARLY CHILDHOOD ASSESSMENT that highlights key developmental outcomes and the features associated with selected categories of assessment tools, lessons learned from their use in different program settings, and policy and research recommendations to improve the quality of developÂ mental assessments and their use with diverse populations of young children. Dissemination efforts will include briefings for agency officials, congressional representatives, and officers for key stakeholder organizations, and the production of a report brief that will translate the study findings for practitioners and policy makers. Questions for Forum Participants Listed below are general topics and more specific questions based upon the issues that the Committee on Developmental Out- comes and Assessments for Young Children will be addressing in its work. We are interested in your views on any of these that you and your organization feel competent to address, but you should not feel obliged to answer all of the questions. Please indicate clearly which questions you are responding to, and keep your written response to a maximum of five pages (11 pt. type or larger). If your organization has published position statements that address our questions, you may refer the com- mittee to those, noting which questions are addressed in each. References, if you provide them, will not be included in the page count. Please send your responses to us (firstname.lastname@example.org) as Word or PDF files no later than June 29. Thank you for your participation. Your materials will be deposited in the projectâs Public Access file and will be made available to interested parties upon request. 1. General Issues: Why measure What are the most important philosophical issues in assess- ing the development of children from birth to 5 years old? Do your answers differ with the age (within the birth to 5-year range) of the children being assessed? Questions you may want to address include: A. What are the most important benefits of such assessment?
APPENDIX B 433 B. What are the most important risks associated with such assessment? C. What are appropriate purposes for such assessment? D. What are appropriate uses of assessment results? E. To whom should assessment results be reported? At what level of aggregation? F. What is the proper role of child assessment in early child- hood program accountability? 2. Outcomes, Domains, Functions: What to measure What developmental outcomes, domains, or functions are appropriate for assessment, and why? Questions you may want to address include: A. What domains/outcomes/functions best predict childrenâs later development and learning outcomes? B. What domains/outcomes/functions can be assessed most reliably and validly in this age group? 3. Assessment Instruments: How to measure What are the most important considerations or criteria to use in designing or selecting assessment instruments for young children? Questions you may want to address include: A. For what domains/outcomes/functions do we have useful, valid, reliable assessment tools at this time? B. For what domains/outcomes/functions do we NOT have useful, valid, reliable assessment tools at this time? C. What do you see as the relative merits of direct assessment versus assessment based on ongoing observation of chil- dren in their natural environments? D. Where do you stand on the issue of administering all children all instruments and items versus some form of sampling? 4. Assessment Implementation: How to perform assessments and use the results What do you see as the major issues for implementing assess- ment of young children? Questions you may want to address include:
434 EARLY CHILDHOOD ASSESSMENT A. Who should be assessing children? Teachers, caregivers, parents, others? What training and supervision do the assessors need? B. What can be done to assure that results are used in ben- eficial ways? What training do users of assessment results need? How can results best be presented to various users or audiences? 5. Special Populations (children with disabilities/delays, English language learners, children from minority cultures, etc.): Equity, fairness, inclusion What are the special concerns about the assessment of chil- dren from these groups and your recommendations for appro- priate assessment of these children? Questions you may want to address include: A. What suggestions would you offer for assuring that the assessment of all children is fair and useful? B. Can universal design principles be employed in the design of assessments for young children? If so, should those prin- ciples be employed? Forum Speaker List Ben Allen, National Head Start Association Noma Anderson, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Andrea Browning, Society of Research on Child Development Miriam Calderon, National Council of La Raza Jerlean Daniel, National Association for the Education of Young Children Felicia DeHaney, National Black Child Development Institute Sally Flagler, National Association of School Psychologists Willard Gilbert, National Association for Bilingual Education Mark Innocenti, Division for Early Childhood, Council for Exceptional Children Joan Isenberg, National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators Michael Lopez, National Center for Latino Child and Family Research Tammy Mann, Zero to Three
APPENDIX B 435 Michaelene Ostrosky, Center on the Social Emotional Foundations of Early Learning Fasaha Traylor, Foundation for Child Development