Portrait of Child Outcomes
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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 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 Learning Framework (Framework) for children three to five years old.
The role of ATI is to continuously analyze and aggregate data gathered by programs and to display the data in reports documenting children's learning and progress on the 11 Domains. Portrait data are recorded online by Head Start programs and are available in real-time for reporting purposes. Thus, there is a unique opportunity to provide the Head Start community, researchers, policy-makers, and the public with a continuous and changing portrait of outcomes reflecting the course of children's learning throughout the program year.
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 multi-state 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.
Register to participate in or learn more about the Head Start Portrait of Child Outcomes
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. For Head Start programs participating in the Portrait, the multi-method assessment through the use of the Galileo G3 Assessment Scales is an integral and ongoing activity to help 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 both at the federal and individual state levels in promoting continuous quality improvement in programs and child well-being and success. The Galileo G3 Assessment Scales used by Head Start programs in creating the Portrait reflect the importance of this standards-based approach to assessment and the alignment of assessment tools to standards in ways that ensure that there is at least one and, more often, multiple representative capabilities on the Galileo G3 Assessment Scales that can be assessed in order 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 Assessment 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 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 child outcomes. The DL score provided in the Portrait reports and to 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 Assessment Scales which are aligned with the 2011 Head Start Child Development and Learning Framework. A sampling of the reports follows:
The Development Profile provides a good starting point for examining what 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 Assessment Scales. The Development Profile shows 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 Report shows 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 Profile indicates the total number of goals on a Galileo G3 Assessment Scale and the percentage of goals learned in that scale.
Register to Contribute to the Portrait
To participate by including your progress data in the Portrait, click here for the registration form. Once the form has been completed, fax or email it to ATI. Participation in the Head Start Portrait is completely voluntary. There is no cost or additional work involved in becoming a Portrait participant. For more information, contact an ATI Field Services Coordinator at GalileoInfo@ati-online.com or call 1.877.358.7611.
A Word of Thanks to the Contributors
A broad array of Head Start programs representing several states have joined together for several years to create and share 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 2011 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 outline the essential areas of learning and development for children, three to five years old. These essential 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;
• Promoting continuous quality improvement in programs, child well-being, and success.
Galileo Pre-K Online is designed to support systemic implementation of the 2011 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 2011 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 Assessment Scales are fully aligned with the 2011 Framework. The Galileo G3 Assessment Scales make it possible for Head Start programs to assess children's learning and development in the 11 Domains and 37 Domain Elements articulated in the Framework. In this regard, the Galileo G3 Assessment Scales 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 central role of assessment in these 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 Assessment Scales effectively accommodate these aspects of the Framework in a variety of ways. For example, Galileo Pre-K Online provides 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. 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 (DLLs) 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 2011 Head Start Child Development and Learning Framework can be accessed by clicking here.
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