Using Progress Monitoring in Early Childhood Education: Assessing Methods and Developing an Evidence-Based Model

Prepared for
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation

Policymakers, practitioners, and researchers continue to identify a need for research on ongoing assessment to individualize instruction. In recent years, the Office of Head Start has elaborated its vision for preschool child and family outcomes, added a stronger focus on program and classroom quality in its monitoring system, and developed tools to support ongoing assessment in daily practice. Despite the importance of using assessment to inform instruction and requirements to do so, information on how teachers collect and use assessment data to inform their practice and individualize is sparse. 

This study involved designing a multi-method measure to understand how teachers implement and use ongoing assessment to individualize instruction. The study team defined the key aspects of this process. The team conducted a literature review and looked at how others measured teachers’ use of ongoing assessment to inform instruction and individualization. The evidence and theory identified informed the development of conceptual frameworks for the successful implementation of this process in early education settings. 

The project team then developed a preschool-age, classroom-based measure of ongoing assessment and individualization activities called the Examining Data Informing Teaching (EDIT) measure. Mathematica partnered with subcontractor Barbara Wasik (Temple University) and consultant Judith Carta.