P-3 Policy

What matters most to the success of P-3 approaches is ensuring that children have consistent, coherent, high-quality learning opportunities provided to them day-after-day, year-after-year. Families, teachers, and other caregivers are at the frontline of children's learning opportunities. Policy, however, plays an essential role in framing the context, supports, and incentives that surround early learning programs, schools, families, and teachers.

The resources below identify some of the key policy issues -- at federal, state, district, municipal, and local levels -- that support comprehensive P-3 approaches.

State-Level Perspectives

Publication Date: Mar 2011
Authors:
Laura A. Bornfreund
Synopsis:

Current preparation, licensure, and hiring systems are not designed to produce and place adequately trained teachers in PreK-3rd grade classrooms. The preparation of early grade teachers must couple the best aspects of traditional elementary and early childhood preparation programs and infuse early childhood development coursework with frequent experiences working with children.

Publication Date: Apr 2012
Authors:
Donald J. Hernandez
Synopsis:

Currently, some state goverments are building longitudinal data systems that aim to: provide information on teachers and programs; identify students who would benefit from intervention and other services; evaluate programs, schools, principals, and teachers; and inform local and state policy decisions. It is essential that PreK data be included in these systems so that we can analyze how PreK experiences relate to achivement in K-12 and beyond.

School-Level Perspectives

Publication Date: Jan 2009
Authors:
Richard M. Clifford, Gisele M. Crawford, Helene Stebbins, Stephanie S. Reszka, Barbara Coatney
Synopsis:

This brief provides an overview of issues related to financing early childhood programs in a school setting; provides estimates of costs and sources of revenue to support portions of these programs for children below the typical age of entry into school; and discusses special issues related to the capital costs for renovations and new construction required to provide appropriate space for early childhood programs. 

Policy Briefs

Publication Date: Sep 2012
Authors:
Lisa Guernsey, Alex Holt
Synopsis:

At present there exists a dearth of reliable, complete, and comparable data on PreK and Kindergarten in school districts and local communities. In order to close achievement gaps between economically disadvantaged and advantaged students, policymakers and educators must have access to data on enrollment and public funding for all young children. These data will increase understanding of how public dollars are spent, will expose disparities in access to early learning programs, and have the potential to increase educational opportunities for young children.

Publication Date: Nov 2011
Authors:
Lisa Guernsey, Susan Ochshorn
Synopsis:
A growing number of policymakers are searching for new approaches to identify good teaching, promote it, and reward it. In the birth-to-five world, many states have developed Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) that identify, rate, and enhance the quality of programs based on a wide array of criteria, such as adult-child ratios and how well teachers respond to children’s needs. In the K-12 world, states are trying to identify good teaching at the level of the individual teacher.  Observation tools should play a significant role in the development of these evaluation and professional development systems. This policy brief makes recommendations to federal and state governments, as well as teacher preparation programs and researchers, to establish fair and reliable measures of teachers' practice.