News Briefs | FYI
November 1, 2021
Kindergarten assessments can support early learning
A new report from the Learning Policy Institute highlights how to use kindergarten entry assessments as part of a strong early learning assessment system.
“Early childhood assessments, when well designed and well implemented, can support developmentally appropriate learning by providing information to guide instruction and support children’s development,” authors Cathy Yun, Hanna Melnick and Marjorie Wechsler write in the report released in August. “As early childhood programs are becoming part of many state education systems, educators and policymakers are seeking strong early childhood assessment systems that begin at or before preschool and can carry through the early elementary years in an aligned system.”
As of 2021, 38 states have a KEA, a number that has increased dramatically over the last 10 years. California has a state-developed KEA but does not require its use, according to the authors. The report examined prior research on assessing young children, scanned practices across states and districts, and highlighted promising examples to illuminate how KEAs can support equitable learning. It provides insights into how to choose high-quality assessments from different assessment choices.
The authors make several recommendations for states and districts, such as choosing high-quality, developmentally appropriate assessments and building assessment systems that inform instruction and support family engagement. Find a link to the report at
CDE offers consultation on allowance of attendance
The CDE is aware that staff shortages due to COVID-19 related illness and quarantine are very real. Section 19 of Assembly Bill 167 (Chapter 252, Statutes of 2021) amended Education Code Section 46392 to require consultation from CDE and the county office of education before LEAs can submit a Request for Allowance of Attendance Due to Emergency Conditions, Form J-13A due to staff shortages to CDE. If you are in need of information and support, the CDE is offering consultations. Visit CDE’s 2021-22 Form J-13A FAQs web page for guidance related to the requirements and submissions for this fiscal year,
State seeks Preparedness Ambassadors for program
The State of California needs your help. Disasters such as wildfires, floods, and earthquakes can occur in every part of our state. We are asking teachers and fourth grade students throughout California to help us by becoming a Preparedness Ambassador. Preparedness Ambassadors is a statewide program designed to engage fourth grade students to develop and promote disaster preparedness guidelines for their homes, schools and local communities. The Preparedness Ambassadors program was created by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services in partnership with the Sacramento County Office of Education, the California Department of Education and CalRecycle. For more information regarding the Preparedness Ambassadors program, visit
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