News Story

“Guiding the Next Decade of Public Pre-K Evaluation” Meeting Success

October 24, 2014 – Held on October 2-3, 2014 the “Guiding the Next Decade of Public Pre-K Evaluation” meeting was funded by a collaborative grant from Georgetown University’s Reflective Engagement initiative, which strives to promote “public scholarship” seeking to resolve contemporary social issues. This meeting, organized by Psychology Professors Anna Johnson and Deborah Phillips, convened academic researchers with expertise in pre-K evaluation from various institutions throughout the country, public officials from state and local offices of education or early learning from seven states and cities, and federal officials from the White House, including from the Department of Education, the Institute of Education Sciences, and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Throughout the day, participants engaged in an open and reflective dialogue focused on identifying key challenges and best practices to inform the next decade of public pre-K design and evaluation. The group will continue correspondence around these issues throughout the year, culminating in a second summit in spring 2015, and will develop a guidance document and a standing panel of experts to inform the next decade of public pre-K program development and evaluation.

This concerted effort to better understand and enhance public pre-K program development and evaluation is critical, in light of President Obama’s Preschool for All initiative and increasingly strong scientific evidence that high-quality early childhood education has significant, positive implications for both individuals and society.