Portrait of Child Outcomes

View Real-Time National Head Start Portrait Data

The Head Start Portrait of Child Outcomes is a grass-roots initiative with ATI in which Head Start and Early Head Start programs join together, pool their data, and share information about children's learning and development. The Portrait reflects Galileo’s 12 scales that correspond with the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework’s 5 domains for children birth through 5 years old. In addition, the Portrait reflects the 5 essential domains for School Readiness for birth through age 5. ATI has aligned the Galileo G3 birth through 5 year old scales to the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework. Access the alignment document.

ATI's role in presenting the Portrait 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 12 scales 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 portrait of outcomes reflecting the course of children's learning throughout the year.

Head Start and Early Head Start programs are already using information on child outcomes in new ways to improve learning. It is the goal that the information provided through the Portrait will be helpful to all of those who are dedicated to the challenge of promoting the development of children.

The reason for gathering data on children's learning is to promote children's learning. Head Start and Early Head Start Galileo G3 assessment scale data from programs participating in the Portrait initiative is 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 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 a child’s position in an empirically validated developmental progression.

In Galileo Pre-K, 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.

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 make this Head Start family portrait possible.


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