My name is Jamie Coburn and I recently completed my PhD in Program Planning and Evaluation from Tennessee Tech University (TTU). I am employed in state government as an early childhood consultant. I teach as adjunct faculty for both TTU and Nashville State Community College with both classroom-based and distance-based learners. My primary interest is in early childhood and prekindergarten program evaluations.
Rad Resource: National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER). The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) conducts and communicates research to support high quality, effective, early childhood education for all young children. The Institute offers independent research-based advice and technical assistance to policymakers, journalists, researchers, and educators.
One of many resources provided by NIEER is a State Preschool Yearbook and Interactive Database that includes information about key state prekindergarten policies around Access, Quality Standards, and Resources. The Interactive Database provided information in sortable tables so that policy comparisons can be made across all 50 states. The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) may be found online at http://nieer.org/
Rad Resource: Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF) Kids Count Data. The first section of the annual survey of state-funded preschool programs describes national trends for enrollment in, quality of, and spending on preschool. The second section presents detailed profiles outlining each state’s policies with respect to preschool access, quality standards, and resources. In addition to providing basic program descriptions, these state profiles describe unique features of a state’s program and recent changes that can be expected to alter the future Yearbook statistics on a program. Online appendices include tables incorporating complete survey data obtained from every state, as well as Head Start, child care, U.S. Census, and special education data. The AECF Kids Count Data can be found online at http://www.aecf.org/MajorInitiatives/KIDSCOUNT.aspx
In addition to providing national data, The AECF funds a nationwide network of state-level KIDS COUNT projects that provide a more detailed, community-by-community picture of the condition of children. The KIDS COUNT Network improves programs and policies for children and families by collecting and reporting credible data and promoting the use of data-based advocacy and communications strategies. The AECF state-level Kids Count can be found online at http://bit.ly/AECF-Kidscount
Bonus! Neat Find: Eva the Evaluator (Learningham, 2009). A book written and illustrated for children by Roger Miranda and Birgit Stadler that explains the many roles of evaluators. Having just graduated in program planning and evaluation and having worked in state government for many years evaluating various early childhood programs, I have found myself, at times, having a hard time explaining to my children, my mother and other people in my life, just exactly what my work entails. This book humorously and cleverly describes all the tasks that evaluators do. Eva the Evaluator may be found at http://www.learningham.com or ordered through http://www.Amazon.com.
This contribution is from the aea365 Daily Tips blog, by and for evaluators, from the American Evaluation Association. Please consider contributing – send a note of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org.