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Study: Funding, leadership key to pre-K and early school years alignment (quotes Deborah Stipek and David Plank on a report from PACE)

June 2, 2016
“What we really need are assessment tools and curriculum that are aligned through preschool and those early grades,” Deborah Stipek says. “We just have to recognize that pre-K is the new kindergarten and so the expectations are higher and we haven’t upgraded our training and support systems … to reflect those increased demands.”
Jeremy Hay

More funding is needed to achieve greater curriculum alignment between preschool and the early school years, so that what students learn in kindergarten through 3rd grade builds on what they learned in preschool, a new study says.

Strong leadership by district officials knowledgeable about quality preschool education is another key to making alignment work, said the study by Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE), a nonpartisan research group based at Stanford University, UC Davis and the University of Southern California. [Deborah Stipek, who is Judy Koch Professor of Education at Stanford, is an author of the report.]

Preschool has increasingly come to be viewed as an essential component of an effective education, particularly for lower-income children; that has spurred widespread discussion about the need to align preschool curricula with that of kindergarten and beyond. But consensus on how to define and establish alignment hasn’t been reached. ...

“It won’t happen by itself and it won’t happen as a consequence of someone in Sacramento telling someone to get along better — it really does require someone at the local level saying, ‘You’ve got to work together,’” said [David] Plank [PACE's executive driector and professor at Stanford Graduate School of Education].

Read the entire story on the EdSource website.