Portrait of Child Outcomes
What is the Head Start Portrait of Child Outcomes?
The Head Start Portrait of Child Outcomes (Portrait) is a grass-roots initiative with Assessment Technology Incorporated (ATI) in which Head Start and Early Head Start programs join together, pool their data, and share information with the public about children's learning and development. The Portrait reflects the 11 Domains and 37 Domain Elements comprising the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework (Framework) for children 3 through 5 years old, and the Five Essential Domains for school readiness for children from birth through 5 years of age.
The role of ATI is to continuously aggregate and analyze data gathered by programs and to present the data in reports documenting children's learning and progress in the 11 Domains and in the school readiness goals directly linked to State and Common Core Kindergarten Standards. Portrait data reflect the assessment data collected by a representative number of Head Start and Early Head Start programs nationwide. The data are recorded online by Head Start and Early Head Start programs and are available in real time for reporting purposes. With the Portrait, there is a unique opportunity for Head Start and Early Head Start communities, researchers, policy-makers, and the public to have a continuous and changing portrait of outcomes reflecting the course of children's learning throughout the program year.
Head Start and Early Head Start programs throughout the nation are already using information on child outcomes in new ways to improve learning. It is the goal of participating programs and the goal of ATI that the information provided through the Head Start National Portrait will be helpful to all of those individuals who are concerned with and dedicated to the challenge of promoting the development of our nation's children.
How is Data for the Head Start Portrait Gathered and Analyzed?
The principal reason for gathering data on children's learning is to promote children's learning. Head Start and Early Head Start Galileo G3 assessment scale date from programs participating in the Portrait initiative is continuously and automatically aggregated and included in the Portrait as a benefit to programs. No identifying information appears on the Portrait since it presents only aggregated data. Inclusion of Galileo data from the Galileo multi-method assessment approach helps inform decision-making related to goal setting, planning, and the provision of learning opportunities for children. Teachers in participating programs gather the data on children's learning as part of their continuing efforts to determine the developmental needs of the children in their charge. The teacher's primary use of the data is to plan learning opportunities that will promote each child's development.
The Framework recognizes the important role of early learning standards in promoting continuous quality improvement in programs and in child well-being and success. The Galileo G3 scales used by Head Start and Early Head Start programs in creating the Portrait are standards aligned in a manner that ensures at least one and, more often, multiple representative capabilities that can be assessed to provide a comprehensive and meaningful portrait of a child's development and mastery of standards. In addition, in order to provide reliable and valid assessments of children's learning and development that can be used to inform educational decision-making, the capabilities on the Galileo G3 scales contain difficulty and discrimination parameters. With these parameters, it is possible to generate Item Response Theory (IRT) interval level Developmental Level (DL) scores for Head Start and Early Head Start programs and for the multi-state Portrait. Moreover, ATI uses IRT to empirically validate developmental G3 sequences linked to indicators related to the Domains and Domain Elements in the Framework.
The measurement of progress requires assessment scales capable of reflecting continuous changes in children's development. IRT techniques used by ATI establish continuous developmental scales for the Galileo G3 assessments making it possible to use them to measure progress and document Head Start and Early Head Start child outcomes. The DL score provided in the Portrait reports and to Head Start and Early Head Start programs locally is generated by ATI through the use of IRT techniques. Among other things, the DL score indicates position in a developmental progression. The DL score can pinpoint a child's position in an empirically validated progression.
In Galileo Pre-K Online, the developmental information given by the DL score is used to provide planning suggestions indicating the capabilities that the child is ready to learn now or will be ready to learn soon or later. In light of the many benefits associated with IRT, it is not surprising that it represents the "gold standard" for measuring progress in standards-based education. It is used to generate ability scores for the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) and it is implemented in statewide assessments in states across the nation.
What Kinds of Reports Comprise the Portrait?
The Portrait consists of an array of reports on children's learning. These reports provide data from the Galileo G3 scales which are aligned with the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework. A sampling of the reports follows:
The Development Profileprovides a good starting point for examining what Head Start and Early Head Start children are learning now and what they will be prepared to learn as development progresses. This report provides information on all the capabilities included within a given developmental area (e.g., Language Development) assessed with the Galileo G3 scales. The Development Profileshows how many children have acquired each of the capabilities in a developmental area. In addition, it shows how many children are ready now, soon, or later to learn the other capabilities.
Progress Milestone Report
This report provides information on the progress children have made on specific subsets of goals within a given area of development (e.g., Mathematics Knowledge and Skills) between two selected points in time. The Progress Milestone Reportshows the percentage of children that have learned each selected capability. In addition, it shows the percentage of children ready now, soon, or later to learn those capabilities.
Knowledge Area Proficiency Profile
The Knowledge Area Proficiency Profile lists the knowledge areas (e.g., Number Concepts and Quantities) in each developmental area (e.g., Mathematics Knowledge and Skills) along with the number of goals (i.e., capabilities) comprising each knowledge area. This is followed by the percentage of goals learned in each knowledge area. In addition the Knowledge Area Proficiency Profileindicates the total number of goals on a Galileo G3 scale and the percentage of goals learned in that scale.
A Word of Thanks to the Contributors
For several years and representing several states, a diverse group of Head Start and Early Head Start programs has collectively created and shared an important story about themselves and about children's accomplishments. We at ATI are privileged to have the opportunity to bring their story to you. A special thanks to all who have contributed to the Portrait. Their success, spirit, and foresight made this Head Start family portrait possible.
In What Ways is Galileo Aligned with the 2011 Head Start Framework?
The Framework is designed to provide Head Start and other early childhood programs with a description of the developmental building blocks that are most important for a child's school- and long-term success. The 11 Domains and 37 Domain Elements comprising the Framework coupled with the five essential domains for school readiness outline the areas of learning and development for children, birth through 5 years old. These important areas of learning and development are to be used by programs in a number of ways to guide local decision-making and action leading to positive outcomes for children including:
• The selection and implementation of curriculum and assessment tools as part of an overall approach to promoting positive outcomes for children;
• Connecting child assessment data to various aspects of Head Start program planning and design;
• Establishing school readiness goals consistent with state and local expectations;
• Monitoring children's progress;
• Guiding the collection of child assessment data for other early childhood reporting systems; and
• Promoting continuous quality improvement in programs, child well-being, and success.
Galileo Pre-K Online is designed to support systemic implementation of the Framework. Systemic implementation includes; 1) a multi-method and research-based approach to the assessment of children's learning; 2) a continuous real-time connection between assessment results and the planning of developmentally appropriate learning opportunities to promote development; and 3) a comprehensive array of online reporting tools displaying children's learning and progress for use in data-driven decision-making and the documentation of child outcomes.
In alignment with the Head Start Child Development Framework and Office of Head Start Head Start Monitoring Protocol, implementation of Galileo Pre-K Online occurs within a continuous problem solving, early intervention cycle supporting the effective management of early childhood education. The central components of the cycle aligned to Head Start guidelines include:
• Goal Setting
• Planning and Implementation
• Monitoring and Management
The Galileo G3 scales are fully aligned with the Framework and make it possible for Head Start programs to assess children's learning and development in the 11 Domains/37 Domain Elements and in the Five Essential Domains for school readiness articulated in the Framework. In this regard, the Galileo G3 scales for 3 through 5 years include:
The Galileo G3 assessment scales for ages birth through 3 years of age include:
• Physical Development and Health
• Social and Emotional Development
• Approaches to Learning
• Language Development
• Literacy Knowledge and Skills
• Mathematics Knowledge and Skills
• Science Knowledge and Skills
• Creative Arts Expression
• Logic and Reasoning
• Social Studies Knowledge & Skills
• English Language Development
The Galileo School Readiness Scales are a set of reporting tools that consist of capabilities from the essential areas of learning and development reflected in the Galileo G3 scales for birth through 5. The capabilities on these scales reflect valued school-readiness goals that programs may use to report the progress their children are making in getting ready for successful entry into kindergarten. There are five Galileo School Readiness Scales which create a continuum for monitoring the progress of children from birth through 5 years. There is one Galileo School Readiness Scale for each of the Galileo G3 scale age ranges; Birth to 08 months, 08 to 18 months, 18 to 24 months, 2 to 3 years, and 3 through 5 years. The Galileo School Readiness Scales are organized into five knowledge areas specifically designed to correspond to the essential domains outlined in the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework. These knowledge areas are Cognition and General Knowledge, Language and Literacy, Approaches to Learning, Social and Emotional Development, and Physical Development and Health. To learn more about the Galileo School Readiness Scales click here.
• Approaches to Learning
• Cognitive Development and General Knowledge
• Language, Communication, and Reading and Writing
• Physical Development and Heath
• Social and Emotional Development
What is the role of assessment data in program management?The central role of assessment in the Domains, as discussed in the Framework, is to provide Head Start programs with information that is "reliable and valid; developmentally, linguistically, and culturally appropriate for the populations served; and aligned with the Framework." Moreover, "the Framework serves as a lens for analyzing data in order to understand child progress and to identify areas that need additional resources and attention." Finally, "multiple assessment tools or procedures may be needed to fully understand children's progress across all areas of child development and early learning."
Galileo Pre-K Online and the Galileo G3 scales effectively accommodate these aspects of the Framework in a variety of ways. For example, Galileo Pre-K Online provides Head Start and Early Head Start teachers, parents, specialists, and administrators with information from multiple sources that can inform decision-making for diverse groups of children served by Head Start and Early Head Start. This information is used, for example, to help teachers decide what kinds of learning opportunities will be best suited to a child's developmental needs and to help programs decide how to allocate program resources and plan professional development in ways that enhance the positive impact of the program on children's learning and development.
In particular, Galileo Pre-K Online supports a multi-method approach to assessment. The multi-method approach provides assessments in a broad range of formats that accommodate the various ways that children from diverse backgrounds, including Dual Language Learners and children with disabilities may express their competencies. For example, assessment can occur through ongoing observation in the child's natural learning environment, through direct one-on-one assessment, gathering samples of children's work, information provided by families, other external assessment data sources, anecdotal recording of children's learning and development, or through computer-based assessment activities.
A detailed description of Galileo Pre-K Online with the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework can be accessed by clicking here.
Reports are displayed in PDF format. In order to view these reports you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. If you do not, it can be downloaded for free from Adobe.