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Program helps school district improve its early learning programs

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2011 17:59 PM

As school districts ready themselves for the transition to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), there is also a focus on making sure faculty members are prepared to teach their new curricula.

In Iowa, the Newton Community School District has a pilot program in place to assess its preschool students and the direct teaching methods that will most benefit them, the Newton Daily News reported. The program, which was implemented at the beginning of the 2011-2012 academic year, is also aligned with the CCSS.

"This is a formative assessment, which means that we’re doing it all year long," Jamie Cranston, preschool site coordinator at Emerson Hough Elementary, told the news source.

According to the news outlet, the program assesses nine areas of development, including language, literacy, science and the arts. Cranston feels that the information gained through the program can direct instruction at Emerson Hough.

For the U.S. Department of Education, the quality of states’ early learning programs is not only important, but also acts as the basis of its Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge grant competition, the Department’s website states.