Using Better Data to Inform Implementation of Preschool At-Scale: The Role of Research-Practice Partnerships
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
Yet, these three cities have not rested on their laurels after achieving a given level of preschool expansion. Rather, they have identified a number of factors that they seek to understand and improve in order to build program effectiveness at-scale. Practitioners and policymakers in these cities have not always had the tools to accurately measure what is happening in their programs, and whether they observe changes in students’ outcomes as they move through schooling. As such, all three cities have built partnerships with research teams to help support rigorous measurement and use of data to improve decision making. The proposed panel will include presentations from each of these research-practice partnerships on how they have accomplished these goals.
First, the team from Boston will present information on how to build measures of program implementation and student outcomes in order to inform a study examining the long-term impacts of the Boston preschool program. Second, the Tulsa group will present data from a new initiative to measure instructional and non-instructional processes in preschool settings. This effort aims to support district decision-making and help sustain early effects of preschool into later grades. Finally, a team working with New York City will present on how they used data collected in a large-scale randomized trial of a preschool math curriculum to measure instructional content and improve the city’s ability to monitor program effectiveness.
To conclude, Sara Vecchiotti, the Chief Program Officer at the Foundation for Child Development (FCD), will discuss the papers and the role of research-practice partnerships in efforts to expand high-quality early childhood education across the country. She will also touch on FCD’s current work to build an early learning research network in New York City that can improve implementation of preschool programming at-scale. Taken together, these papers and discussion directly align with the APPAM conference theme “Measurement Matters: Better Data for Better Decisions” and will serve to advance continued scholarship and discussion on how to effectively use rigorous measurement and research to inform decision-making in real-world policy contexts.