Recognizing that quality pre-kindergarten can help provide our nation's children with the skills they need to succeed in school and later in life, states have begun begin to invest billions of dollars for state-funded early education programs. Yet, few if any, states have built a system to connect outcome standards with assessments of program performance.
Launched in 2005, The National Early Childhood Accountability Task Force brings together leading experts in child development, early education and state policy to help states develop measurement tools to set standards, assess programs and use the results to help improve early education. It is supported by The Foundation for Child Development, The Joyce Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts.
The Task Force, chaired by Dr. Sharon Lynn Kagan, professor and associate dean at Columbia University's Teachers College, will develop a set of recommendations to guide state accountability planning, development and implementation efforts. The Task Force report, to be issued early in 2007, will include guidance to help states set and review standards for early childhood programs, select appropriate measures and assessment tools and report and use accountability data. With proper accountability systems in place, states will be able to chart progress and appropriately improve programs to ensure our young children receive the education they need to succeed.