Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Drilling in on Pre-K Success | Students' Progress Will Help Measure What Programs Are Working

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Drilling in on Pre-K Success | Students' Progress Will Help Measure What Programs Are Working

Article excerpt

EDUCATION

MANATEE COUNTY -- The first five years of a child's life are often documented in a tangle of multiple databases. A pilot effort by the Early Learning Coalition of Manatee County is hoping to streamline these databases by housing them in one place.

In April, the ELC will begin assigning unique identifier numbers to roughly 5,000 3- to 5-year-olds attending pre-kindergarten programs and receiving social services through the coalition in an effort to document the effectiveness of these programs.

"There's a big push to see what determines if a child is ready for school when they get to kindergarten," said Sharon Oakes, the coalition's chief operations officer. "One of the things we've always been asked and not really been able to put in a quantifiable way is whether all the services we provide actually make kids ready for school."

The ELC plans to use students' academic progress in school to measure the effectiveness of the county's various pre-k services, Oakes said. Not all children who receive services through the coalition go to pre-k, she added, and the new database will be able to document that.

"There are different things we'll be able to tell when it's all

in one database and it'll be a lot easier to look at than when it's seven different databases," Oakes said.

Having streamlined data will help the coalition identify gaps for services and weed out programs that may not be as effective. The database will be a huge help to teachers, too, said Robin Thompson, director of early learning for the school district of Manatee County.

"It's a way to provide more information so that we can make better instructional decisions for our students based on data," Thompson said.

A teacher will be able to pull up the child's unique ID number and gain insight into that student's early childhood, including what services they may have received, whether they took part in school readiness programs and their attendance record in those programs. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.