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Children’s Knowledge and Skills at Kindergarten Entry in Illinois (Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Conference)

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Time: 3:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Mountain Time

2019 Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) Fall Research Conference
Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel
1550 Court Pl.
Denver, CO 80202


In fall 2017, the Illinois State Board of Education adopted a new statewide assessment, the Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS) that requires kindergarten teachers to report data on each child’s skills at school entry. This research-based observational tool was developed specifically for Illinois educators to collect school readiness information “in a way that is efficient, supportive of excellent teaching practice, informative to educators, and comparable across geographic and demographic boundaries.”

KIDS conveys what skills, knowledge, and behaviors each child should possess—a beacon to guide the work of preschools, home child care centers, Head Start centers, family homes, and every other early childhood setting. To collect data, Illinois kindergarten teachers observed each child during the first 40 days of instruction, interviewed the child’s family or other school staff as necessary, and gathered artifacts of the child’s work.

REL Midwest’s study, Children’s Knowledge and Skills at Kindergarten Entry in Illinois: Results from the First Statewide Administration of the Kindergarten Individual Development Survey, analyzed the psychometric properties of the survey’s 14 required items and examined average skills and the variation in skill levels at kindergarten entry. It also interviewed teachers and principals about administration barriers and suggestions for improvement.

Partnership: Midwest Early Childhood Education Research Alliance

Speaker: Jill Bowdon, Senior Researcher, REL Midwest