1) Review: Introduction, Description, Objectives, and Key Concepts of lesson
2) Read: Material in Your Essential Library
Lesson 1.2: Regulatory Systems, Standards, and Licenses, builds on the previous Lesson 1.1 by examining the regulations and standards that govern the B-12 system, with particular attention on the B-3 period. Lesson 1.1 explored the defining features of different education levels. Lesson 1.2 will examine the role of systems in defining those features and contributing to the commonalities and differences explored in the previous lesson. In particular, this lesson will examine the ways governing structures shape education systems through regulations, policies, oversight, credentialing, and accountability structures. The following Lesson 1.3 will examine how to reconcile and bridge these discrete educational systems to create a more coherent educational continuum; and Lesson 1.4 will provide information about supporting that continuum through school-based practices of promoting successful transitions.
After completing this lesson, students should be able to:
Education from birth to grade 12 is a system composed of many governing and regulatory sub-systems.
The education of children from Birth through 12th Grade spans a number of regulatory and governing bodies. During these years, children's educative and care experiences can fall under the purview of the federal Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, State Early Childhood programs, State Department of Children and Family Services, Regional Offices of Education, school districts, and for-profit and non-for profit organizations, among others. During the pre-Kindergarten years, in particular, education is regulated by numerous federal, state, and local governing bodies, including Head Start, Preschool for All, Regional Offices of Education and school districts. These entities are beholden to different and largely un-aligned standards and expectations.
Work to align B-12 regulatory systems and standards is in progress, but still far from complete.
Over the past decades, educators and policymakers have worked on creating an aligned P-20 system; albeit much of this work has focused on aligning the K-12 and higher education systems and very little work has been conducted to integrate early care and education programs in this work to create a true P-20 learning continuum. This has resulted in inconsistent connections between early childhood programs (e.g., Head Start, Preschool for All sites in Illinois) and the K-12 system. Leaders can plan an important role in facilitating better aligned systems by becoming familiar with the regulations, standards, and licensing requirements that span Birth through 12th Grade.
Clear and high-quality standards of programs play an important role in explicating the regulatory requirements of different levels of education, especially during the B-3 period.
ExceleRate Illinois is a statewide quality rating and improvement system designed to make continuous quality improvement an everyday priority among early learning providers. The program establishes standards for helping infants, toddlers and preschool age children develop intellectually, physically, socially and emotionally. It provides a framework for early learning professionals to identify opportunities for improvement, increase their skills and take steps to make positive changes.
Clear, rigorous, and high-quality standards of teacher candidates also play an important role in bridging regulatory systems.
Illinois has recently taken definitive steps to shore up its teacher preparation and licensure by redefining the teacher preparation standards for Early Childhood (Birth-2nd Grade), Elementary (1st-, and Middle School programs. These new teacher candidate standards have been designed to create more connectivity between and among certification areas, but also enhance the developmental knowledge of candidates at each level in the B-12 system. The new Early Childhood Education teacher preparation standards have been prepared by some of the country's top experts in English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Assessment; and Illinois is leading the way in establishing high expectations and standards for its Early Childhood teacher workforce.
Clear, rigorous, and developmentally appropriate standards and assessment of young children also help bridge the PreK and K-12 systems.
Creating clear standards for young children during the PreK years that are aligned to K-12 CCSS has been an important step in bridging systems at the student level. The Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards have been designed to support teachers of Early Childhood Education to monitor and support growth and development in clear, consistent, and well-aligned ways.
LINC has identified the following resources as the most essential current resources to help you inform yourself on this topic. You should peruse each of these resources prior to teaching this lesson. If you would like to complete additional research in this topic, there are optional resources in the Additional Resources for Further Study section
Hood, L., Hunt. E., & Okezie-Phillips, E. (2009.) Building a seamless learning continuum: Looking at the role of leadership to bridge the gap between Pre-K and K-12 care and education systems. Paper submitted to the 2009 annual conference of the
To synthesize the material completed thus far in this lesson, consider the following through either small group discussion or individual writing response: