Chiefs Promoting High-Quality Pre-K

Through the launch of the Chiefs Promoting High-Quality Prekindergarten Network, the Council supported chiefs and their lead staff to promote the consistent implementation of high-quality prekindergarten at a time when many states were expanding access to prekindergarten programs. Quality benchmarks from the National Institute of Early Education Research (NIEER), supported by latest research, suggested improved effects on mitigating the achievement gap by third grade. 

Throughout the course of this project, CCSSO worked with nine states, and two territories to leverage their role as state K-12 leaders to improve the funding, access, and policies that supported state-funded preschool programs for all students. The network included the following states/territories: Colorado, Delaware, DoDEA, Guam, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

An invaluable part of this project was the establishment of a Teacher Practitioners Advisory Board of six outstanding prekindergarten and early childhood teachers who were named or nominated for National Teacher of the Year. These state teachers of the year advised the state teams on effective teaching practices in PreK and served as spokespeople for other prekindergarten teachers across the country. The board members were:

  • Georgia - Nathan Leatherwood and Jodi McNamara
  • California – Ginger Brown
  • DODEA- Sarah Loomis
  • New Jersey- Mark Mautone
  • Maine – Vicki Grotton

An additional component of this network were the opportunities to visit programs of excellence in order to gain insights on program implementation with high standards. States reported site visits were very useful, and as team members were able to see high-quality practices taking place in a classroom it helped bring alive the quality components discussed in theory and research throughout the network meetings. The programs that the network visited included:

These site visits were made possible by Trust for Learning.

A final report on state progress and policy implications was published in September 2019. To read more about the outcomes and impact of this Network, please check out the report here.

State Consortium on Family Engagement

Early learning is greatly influenced by a child’s family, community, and surroundings. State and federal education agencies recognized the importance of family engagement in the educational process. State policies on parental involvement and support structures for families are prevalent, as is federal policy through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Cohort I and Cohort II implemented family engagement strategies and elevated the outreach to early childhood providers and local districts by developing a Birth to Grade 12 Family Engagement Framework. Each framework offered a strategic approach to engaging families with early childhood providers and schools.

The Consortium’s key partner was the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) as the fiscal agent of the Consortium activities. In addition, the National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement (NAFSCE), the Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, Inc. (MAEC), and the Campaign for Grade Level Reading (the Campaign) supported the Consortiums' activities, providing ongoing technical assistance to states. The Policy Equity Group, LLC served as a key advisor to the project.

Cohort I (click the state to view their completed framework)

Cohort II (click the state to view their completed framework)

  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Wyoming