Amy started out her career in early childhood education as a teacher after completing her undergraduate degree from Brown University. She went on to get her JD at Northeastern University School of Law and an MS in Leadership and Policy in Early Care and Education from Wheelock College. Amy worked as a National Head Start Fellow for the federal Administration for Children and Families (ACF), after which she consulted with early childhood education agencies on a range of topics. She served as adjunct faculty at both Wheelock College and Eastern Connecticut State University and co-authored a chapter with Joan Lombardi on Head Start’s legislative history in The Head Start Debates. Throughout Amy’s career, she has been an active member of affiliates of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). She was first introduced to the CLASS tool as an MTP Coach with the National Center for Research on Early Childhood Education (NCRECE)’s Professional Development Study. Since joining Teachstone in 2010, Amy has served as an MTP Specialist and MTP Coaching Program Manager. An avid runner and mother of three, when she’s not coaching teachers, Amy can be found coaching kids on the soccer field. Or eating chocolate.
Favorite Teacher: Mr. Denny-Brown, 3rd Grade
Greetings! One of my New Year’s resolutions is to blog more than last year. While I’m not the most prolific, when I do post, please know it comes from the heart. And, there’s nothing I’m more passionate about than Head Start and its mission to support young children and families through a program of comprehensive services that can move mountains for our most vulnerable young children.
May was a busy—and very confusing—month for federal budgets. First, on May 7th Congress finally passed, and the President signed, a federal budget for Fiscal Year 2017--the budget year that we are more than half way through! In addition, on May 23, the President came out with his Fiscal Year 2018 budget, which would start October 1. We wanted to take a minute to break these budget events down and discuss what it might mean for schools and programs using the CLASS, such as Head Start, and what it might mean for child well-being more generally.
When the Elementary and Secondary Education Act was reauthorized in December 2015, Teachstone joined with others working across grade levels to celebrate the new law—the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA allows and emboldens states to build seamless systems that recognize and incorporate early childhood education in a pre-K to 12 system.
At the end of February, I had the great privilege of attending the annual National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Public Policy Forum as part of my state team, the Connecticut Association for the Education of Young Children (CTAEYC). The field was well-represented: teaching staff and administrators, as well as professional development providers and advocates from a non-profit campus-based child care center, a family child care, a non-profit hospital-based child care center, a for-profit child care center, and two training, support, and research centers for early childhood programs in Connecticut.
Last Friday, the federal Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) published an evaluation of the Office of Head Start’s (OHS) Designation Renewal System (DRS). Given the complex nature of the study, from the recruitment of the sample to the numerous quality measures, we thought it would be helpful to put the findings in context and begin to address the important questions raised in this report. We also are pleased to provide this snapshot summary of the research on the CLASS® involving thousands of classrooms and tens of thousands of students across the age levels, from infant care through secondary education. In collaboration with practitioners, researchers, and policymakers across the field, we are learning and building on our commitment to ensuring outstanding early childhood education for every child in every classroom.
There are many systems and tools available for programs to in their assessment and quality improvement. Some measure similar things and some measure very different things. Depending on your program goals, you may feel that one assessment tool is all you need, while others may feel that they need to use several tools.
This is why we are thrilled to be part of a true collaboration: a jointly produced document providing an overview of the alignment between the domains of the pre-K CLASS measure and the NAEYC Accreditation for Programs Serving Young Children (NAEYC Accreditation) standards and criteria.
Whether it’s an infant cooing in response to a teacher’s gentle voice in an Early Head Start classroom or a second grader delighting in their teacher’s positive feedback in an elementary school classroom down the street, interactions matter in every education setting across the country.
Following up on my blog post from a month ago, I’m pleased to share our final comments submitted to the Office of Head Start. We applaud the work of the Office of Head Start (OHS) in proposing new program performance standards stemming from a review of the current, applicable research on early childhood education and child and family development, and we appreciated the opportunity to submit comments.
For me, this is a dream assignment: review the proposed new Head Start Performance Standards! I love diving into regulations and analyzing how they may be interpreted and applied in real-world settings, and, equally, I love advocating for young children and their families, teachers, and caregivers.