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Ask A REL Response

December 2021


What research has been done on the prekindergarten student assessment indicators that should be considered for later kindergarten readiness?


Following an established REL Southeast research protocol, we conducted a search for research reports as well as descriptive study articles on coaching models for preschool (ages 3-5) teachers. We focused on identifying resources that specifically addressed coaching models for preschool (ages 3-5) teachers. The sources included ERIC and other federally funded databases and organizations, research institutions, academic research databases, and general Internet search engines (For details, please see the methods section at the end of this memo.)

We have not evaluated the quality of references and the resources provided in this response. We offer them only for your reference. These references are listed in alphabetical order, not necessarily in order of relevance. Also, we searched the references in the response from the most commonly used resources of research, but they are not comprehensive and other relevant references and resources may exist.

Research References

  1. Curran, F. C., Little, M. H., Cohen-Vogel, L., & Domina, T. (2020). School readiness assessments for class placements and academic sorting in kindergarten. Educational Policy, 34(3), 518–547.
    From the abstract: “Kindergarten readiness assessments are commonly used in schools nationwide. Prior work shows that the use of such assessments for class placement decisions has increased in recent years. This article uses the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study of 2011 to explore whether the use of readiness assessments for such purpose predicts differential sorting of students across classrooms by prior academic ability. Results from multilevel models as well as other sensitivity analyses suggest that the use of readiness assessments for classroom placements is predictive of slightly higher cross-class ability sorting, particularly in English/language arts. The implications for policy and practice are discussed.”
  2. Lambert, R. G., Kim, D-H., & Burts, D. C. (2016). The association between the teaching strategies GOLD assessment system and direct assessments of child progress. AERA Online Paper Repository, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Washington, DC).
    From the abstract: “ Associations between scale scores obtained from a teacher observation-based authentic assessment measure, the "Teaching Strategies GOLD®", and (a) teacher ratings of children's social functioning and learning behaviors, and (b) child performance on external, individually administered direct assessments of academic skills are presented. The sample was diverse and included 299 preschool children attending 51 different Head Start, public pre-k, and private childcare classrooms across 16 centers in the Northeast United States. Pearson correlation coefficients and multilevel modeling were used to assess degree of association. The correlations were generally moderate and in expected, aligned areas. Findings suggest that "GOLD®" is a viable authentic assessment measure that taps preschool children's development and learning. [Partial funding for this research was provided by Teaching Strategies, LLC.]
  3. Lonigan, C. J., Allan, N. P.¸& Lerner, M. D. (2011). Assessment of preschool early literacy skills: Linking children's educational needs with empirically supported instructional activities. Psychology in the Schools, 48(5), 488–501.
    From the abstract: “The importance of the preschool period in becoming a skilled reader is highlighted by a significant body of evidence that preschool children's development in the areas of oral language, phonological awareness, and print knowledge is predictive of how well they will learn to read once they are exposed to formal reading instruction in elementary school. Although there are now a number of empirically supported instructional activities for helping children who are at risk of later reading difficulties to acquire these early literacy skills, limitations in instructional time and opportunities in most preschool settings require the use of valid assessment procedures to ensure that instructional resources are utilized efficiently. In this article, we discuss the degree to which informal, diagnostic, screening, and progress-monitoring assessments of preschool early literacy skills can inform instructional decisions by considering the strengths and weaknesses of each approach to assessment. (Contains 1 table.)”


Keywords and Search Strings
The following keywords and search strings were used to search the reference databases and other sources:

  • preschool Children, pre-school assessments, school readiness
  • early childhood student assessment indicators
  • early childhood student assessment, kindergarten readiness indicators
  • ECE assessment indicators for kindergarten readiness
  • Early Childhood Education assessment indicators for kindergarten readiness

Databases and Resources
We searched ERIC for relevant resources. ERIC is a free online library of over 1.6 million citations of education research sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences. Additionally, we searched Google Scholar and PsychInfo.

Reference Search and Selection Criteria

When we were searching and reviewing resources, we considered the following criteria:

  • Date of the publication: References and resources published for last 15 years, from 2003 to present, were include in the search and review.
  • Search Priorities of Reference Sources: Search priority is given to study reports, briefs, and other documents that are published and/or reviewed by IES and other federal or federally funded organizations, academic databases, including ERIC, EBSCO databases, JSTOR database, PsychInfo, PsychArticle, and Google Scholar.
  • Methodology: Following methodological priorities/considerations were given in the review and selection of the references: (a) study types - randomized control trials,, quasi experiments, surveys, descriptive data analyses, literature reviews, policy briefs, etc., generally in this order (b) target population, samples (representativeness of the target population, sample size, volunteered or randomly selected, etc.), study duration, etc. (c) limitations, generalizability of the findings and conclusions, etc.

This memorandum is one in a series of quick-turnaround responses to specific questions posed by educational stakeholders in the Southeast Region (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina), which is served by the Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast at Florida State University. This memorandum was prepared by REL Southeast under a contract with the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Contract ED-IES-17-C-0011, administered by Florida State University. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of IES or the U.S. Department of Education nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.