Towards a framework for the validation of early childhood assessment systems
- 1.2k Downloads
American early childhood education is in the midst of drastic change. In recent years, states have begun the process of overhauling early childhood education systems in response to federal grant competitions, bringing an increased focus on assessment and accountability for early learning programs. The assessment of young children is fraught with challenges; psychometricians and educational researchers must work together with the early childhood community to develop these instruments. The purpose of this paper is to present a conceptual framework for the validation of such instrumentation and examine its implications for early childhood educators. We formulate a validity argument for early childhood assessments providing a pivotal link between validity theory and early education practice. Recommendations for the assessment field are also considered.
KeywordsValidity Early childhood Educational assessment
This research was supported in part by a contract from the Connecticut State Department of Education.
- Alexander, K. L., & Entwisle, D. R. (1988). Achievement in the first 2 years of school: Patterns and processes. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 53(2, Serial No. 218).Google Scholar
- Alexander, K. L., & Entwisle, D. R. (1996). Schools and children at risk. In A. Booth & J. F. Dunn (Eds.), Family school links: How do they affect educational outcomes? (pp. 67–87). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, & National Council on Measurement in Education. (2014). Standards for educational and psychological testing. Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.Google Scholar
- Andrich, D., & Styles, I. (2004). Final report on the psychometric analysis of the Early Development Instrument (EDI) using the Rasch Model: a technical paper commissioned for the development of the Australian commissioned for the development of the Australian Early Development Index(AEDI). Perth: Murdoch University.Google Scholar
- Bassok, D., Fitzpatrick, M., Loeb, S., & Paglayan, A. S. (2012). The early childhood care and education workforce in the United States: Understanding changes from 1990 through 2010. Unpublished Manuscript. Retrieved from http://cepa.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/AEFP_ECCE%20Workforce.pdf.
- Berkner, L. K., & Chavez, L. (1997). Access to postsecondary education for the 1992 high school graduates. Statistical Analysis Report, NCES 98–105. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, National Center for Education Statistics.Google Scholar
- Beswick, J. F., Willms, J. D., & Sloat, E. A. (2005). A comparative study of teacher ratings of emergent literacy skills and student performance on a standardized measure. Education, 126(1), 116.Google Scholar
- Bowman, B., Donovan, M. S., & Burns, M. S. (Eds.). (2001). Eager to learn: educating our preschoolers. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
- Braswell, J. S., Lutkus, A. D., Grigg, W. S., Santapau, S. L., Tay-Lim, B. S.-H., & Johnson, M. S. (2001). The nation’s report card: mathematics 2000 (NCES 2001–517). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, National Center for Education Statistics.Google Scholar
- Brinkman, S., & Blackmore, S. (2003). Pilot study results of the Australian early development instrument: a population based measure for communities and community mobilisation tool. Adelaide: Paper presented at the Beyond the Rhetoric in Early Intervention Conference.Google Scholar
- Case, R., & Griffin, S. (1990). Child cognitive development: the role of central conceptual structures in the development of scientific and social thought. In C. A. Hauert (Ed.), Developmental psychology: cognitive, perceptuo-motor, and neuropsychological perspectives (pp. 193–230). Amsterdam: Elsevier Science.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). (2011). Moving forward with kindergarten readiness assessment efforts: A position paper of the Early Childhood State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards. Washington, DC: Council of Chief State School Officers.Google Scholar
- Denton, K., & West, J. (2002). Children’s reading and mathematics achievement in kindergarten and first grade (NCES 2002–125). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.Google Scholar
- Department for Education. (2013). Early Years Foundation Stage Profile Handbook. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-foundation-stage-profile-handbook.
- Diamond, K.E., Justice, L.M., Siegler, R.S., & Snyder, P.A. (2013). Synthesis of IES research on early intervention and early childhood education. U.S. Department of Education. NCSER 2013–3001.Google Scholar
- Education Commission of the States. (2014). 50-state analysis: Kindergarten entrance assessments. Available at: http://ecs.force.com/mbdata/mbquestRT?rep=Kq1407.
- Goldfeld, S., Sayers, M., Brinkman, S., Silburn, S., & Oberklaid, F. (2009). The Process and Policy Challenges of Adapting and Implementing the Early Development Instrument in Australia. Early Education & Development, 13, 978–991.Google Scholar
- Goldstein, J., & Behuniak, P. (2011). Assumptions in alternate assessment: An argument-based approach to validation. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 36, 179–191.Google Scholar
- Harms, T., Clifford, R. M., & Cryer, D. (1998). Early childhood environment rating scale (Revisedth ed.). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
- Haskins, R., & Rouse, C. (2005). Closing achievement gaps. The future of children Spring Policy Brief. Princeton: Princeton University and Brookings Institution.Google Scholar
- Heaviside, S., & Farris, E. (1993). Public school kindergarten teachers’ views on children’s readiness for school (NCES No. 93–410). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Educational, Office of Educational Research and Improvement.Google Scholar
- Herman, J., & Dorr-Bremme, D. (1982). Assessing students: teachers’ routine practices and reasoning. New York: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association.Google Scholar
- Herzenberg, S., Price, M., & Bradley, D. (2005). Losing ground in early childhood education: declining workforce qualifications in an expanding industry. Washington, DC: Economic Policy Institute.Google Scholar
- High/Scope Educational Research Foundation. (1992). High/scope Child Observation Record (COR) for ages 2 1/2-6. Ypsilanti, MI: High/Scope Press.Google Scholar
- Jaeger, E. and Funk, S. (2001). The Philadelphia Child Care Quality Study: An examination of quality in selected early education and care settings. Available at: www.sju.edu/int/academics/cas/resources/cdl/resources/Phila.CC%20Study.pdf.
- Kagan, S. L., Scott-Little, C., & Clifford, R. M. (2003). Assessing young children: what policymakers need to know and do. In C. Scott-Little, S. L. Kagan, & R. M. Clifford (Eds.), Assessing the state of state assessments: perspectives on assessing young children. Greensboro: North Carolina: University of North Carolina, SERVE.Google Scholar
- Kane, M. T. (2006). Validation. In R. L. Brennan (Ed.), Educational measurement (4th ed., pp. 17–64). Washington, DC: The National Council on Measurement in Education & the American Council on Education.Google Scholar
- LeBuffe, P. A., & Naglieri, J. A. (1999). DECA: Devereux early childhood assessment. Lewisville: Kaplan Press.Google Scholar
- Li, K., Hu, B., Pan, Y., Qin, J., & Fan, X. (2011). Chinese Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (trial) (CECERS): A validity study. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 29, 268–282.Google Scholar
- Mashburn, A. J., & Henry, G. T. (2004). Assessing school readiness: Validity and bias in preschool and kindergarten teachers’ ratings. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 23(4), 16–30.Google Scholar
- Mehrens, W. (2002). Consequences of assessment: what is the evidence? In G. Tindal & T. Haladyna (Eds.), Large-scale assessment programs for all students: validity, technical adequacy, and implementation. Mahwah: Lawrence Earlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Meisels, S. J. (1996). Performance in context: assessing children’s achievement at the outset of school. In A. J. Sameroff & M. M. Haith (Eds.), The five to seven year shift: the age of reason and responsibility (pp. 410–431). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Meisels, S. J. (2007). Accountability in early childhood: no easy answers. In R. C. Pianta, M. J. Cox, & K. Snow (Eds.), School readiness, early learning, and the transition to kindergarten (pp. 31–48). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.Google Scholar
- Mislevy, R. J., Steinberg, L. S., & Almond, R. G. (2003). Focus article: on the structure of educational assessments. Measurement: Interdisciplinary research and perspectives, 1(1), 3–62.Google Scholar
- Myers, R. G. (2004). In search of quality programmes of early child- hood care and education. Background paper for Education for All, Global Monitoring Report 2005. Paris, France: UNESCO. Retrieved from www.unesco.org/education/gmrdownload/references 2005.pdf.
- National Research Council. (2008). Early childhood assessment: what, why, and how. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.Google Scholar
- Nelson, K. (Ed.). (1998). Principles and recommendations for childhood assessments. DIANE Publishing.Google Scholar
- Neuman, S. B., & Dickinson, D. K. (Eds.). (2001). Handbook of early childhood literacy research. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Rathburn A, West J. From Kindergarten Through Third Grade: Children’s Beginning School Experiences. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics; 2004. Available at: http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid2004007.
- Reardon, S. F. (2003). Sources of educational inequality: the growth of racial/ethnic and socioeconomic test score gaps in kindergarten and first grade (Working Paper 03-05R). University Park: The Pennsylvania State University, Population Research Institute.Google Scholar
- Rumberger, R. W. & Arellano, B. (2004). Understanding and addressing the Latino achievement gap in California. (Working paper 2004–01). Berkeley, CA: UC Latino Policy Institute.Google Scholar
- Schafer, W. D., Wang, J., & Wang, V. (2009). Validity in action: state assessment validity evidence for compliance with NCLB. In R. Lissitz (Ed.), The concept of validity: revisions, new directions and applications (pp. 173–193). Charlotte: Information Age Publishing Inc.Google Scholar
- Sireci, S. G. (2009). Packing and unpacking sources of validity evidence. The concept of validity: Revisions, new directions, and applications, 19.Google Scholar
- Sylva, K., Siraj-Blatchford, I., & Taggart, B. (2003). Assessing quality in the early years: Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Extension (ECERS-E): Four curricular subscales. Stoke-on Trent: Trentham Books.Google Scholar
- Sylva, K., Melhuish, E. C., Sammons, P., Siraj, I., & Taggart, B. (2004). The Effective Provision of Pre-School Education (EPPE) Project Technical Paper 12, The Final Report: Effective Pre-School Education. London: DfES / Institute of Education, University of London.Google Scholar
- U.S. Department of Education. (2011a, October 20). 35 States, D.C. and Puerto Rico submit applications for the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge. Retrieved from https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/35-states-dc-and-puerto-rico-submit-applications-race-top-early-learning-challenge.
- U.S. Department of Education. (2011). Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge application for initial funding: CFDA Number: 84.412. Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-earlylearningchallenge/2011-412.doc.
- U.S. Department of Education. (2013, May 23). Applications for new awards: Enhanced assessment instruments Grants Program-Enhanced Assessment Instruments-Kindergarten Entry Assessment Competition. Retrieved from https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/05/23/2013-12212/applications-for-new-awards-ehanced-assessment-instruments-grants-program-enhanced-assessment.
- U.S. Department of Education (2015). Kindergarten Entry Assessments in RTT-ELC Grantee States. Retrieved from: https://elc.grads360.org/services/PDCService.svc/GetPDCDocumentFile?fileId=10126.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2011). Minimum preservice qualifications and annual ongoing training house for center teaching roles in 2011. National Center on Child Care Quality Improvement. Fairfax, VA. Retrieved from https://childcare.gov/sites/default/files/542_1305_qualstchmst_2011.pdf.
- West, J., Denton, K., & Germino-Hausken, E. (2001a). America’s kindergartners: findings from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, kindergarten class of 1998–99. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.Google Scholar
- West, J., Denton, K., & Reaney, L. (2001b). The kindergarten year (NCES 2001–023). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.Google Scholar
- Zill, N., & West, J. (2001). Findings from the condition of education 2000: entering kindergarten. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.Google Scholar
- Zill, N., Collins, M., West, J., & Hausken, E. G. (1995). Approaching kindergarten: A look at preschoolers in the United States. U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, National Center for Education Statistics.Google Scholar