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Children's Knowledge and Skills at Kindergarten Entry in Illinois: Results From the First Statewide Administration of the Kindergarten Individual Development Survey

Region:
Midwest
Abstract:

Description: The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is implementing a new, statewide kindergarten entry assessment titled Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS). Researchers in REL Midwest's Midwest Early Childhood Education Research Alliance (MECERA) will use quantitative data collected from KIDS to answer research questions about the psychometric properties of the data, the levels of skills children in Illinois have at kindergarten entry, and variations in these skills levels across subgroups and schools. In addition, researchers will collect information on barriers or obstacles that teachers and principals face during data collection to inform revisions to state-provided guidance or training.

Research Questions:
Psychometric Questions
RQ1a: Do the data resulting from KIDS show the same subscales as hypothesized by the developers?
RQ1b: Is there measurement invariance and factor invariance across subgroups (for example those eligible for free lunch versus those not eligible, different racial/ethnic groups, English learner students versus English-only students, and boys versus girls)?
KIDS Outcome and Subgroup Questions
RQ2: What level of knowledge and skills do Illinois children exhibit upon entry into kindergarten, and how much variation exists in these skills?
RQ3: Are there differences in children's knowledge and skills at kindergarten entry between key subgroups ( for example, those eligible for free or reduced-price lunch versus those not eligible, different racial/ethnic groups, English language learner students versus English-only students, and boys versus girls)?
RQ4: Is there an association between children's knowledge and skills at kindergarten entry and the concentration of impoverished children in the school? Does this association exist net of controls for other student-level characteristics?
KIDS Implementation Questions
RQ5: In this first year of the statewide rollout of the KIDS assessment, what obstacles did teachers and administrators from a purposive sample face relative to administering KIDS?
RQ6: In this first year of the statewide rollout of the KIDS assessment, what suggestions do teachers and administrators from a purposive sample have for making the process of data collection better?

Study Design: Researchers with the Midwest Early Childhood Education Research Alliance (MECERA) will use the KIDS data collected by ISBE to perform psychometric analyses examining the subscales formed by the items and whether these subscales are invariant across subgroups. Researchers will then conduct descriptive analyses to examine the average levels of skills children have in different academic and social-emotional domains, as well as variations in children's skills and knowledge across subgroups and schools. Finally, researchers will interview teachers who have implemented KIDS and their principals using a purposive sample to collect information regarding obstacles encountered during the first year of data collection and suggestions for improving data collection in subsequent years.

Projected Release Date: Fall 2019

Partnership or Research Alliance: Midwest Early Childhood Education Research Alliance

Related Products: Making Connections report

Principal Investigators & Affiliation:
Jill Bowdon, Ph.D., American Institutes for Research
Contact: