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Part I Early Childhood Assessment I n this part of the report, we present an introduction to the work, in Chapter 1, with an explanation of the policy con- text for the study, the committeeâs charge, the committeeâs a Â pproach to the work, and the structure of the report. In Chapter 2, we discuss purposeful assessment, emphasiz- ing the importance of determining the purposes of any assess- ment before proceeding to design, develop, or implement it. We review some common purposes for assessing young children, and introduce some guidelines for such assessments developed by respected organizations concerned with the care and education of young children. We also introduce the special issues attendant to using assessment of young children for accountability purposes. In Chapter 3, we provide some historical context for this study. We review the recent history of the development of early childhood learning standards and assessments, especially in the states and the federal government, with a discussion of the societal and governmental changes that have motivated some of these efforts. 13