The policy studies are broken up into four categories, Illinois Policy Scan, National Policy Scan, International Policy Scan, and District Policy Scan.
The Illinois policy scan links to sites for policies, practices, and programs in Illinois identified for their potential to help create an aligned learning continuum in the state. These sites are grouped in the following categories: governance, standards, certification, professional development, conditions, and incentives.
Governance - An Illinois P-20 Task Force provides a framework for a continuum of quality education from preschool through graduate school. Legislation creating the task force requires membership of the Chairperson of the Illinois Early Learning Council or his or her designee.
Agency web sites
Standards - Illinois has state learning standards in place to articulate what students should know and be able to do, as well as program standards to help guide educators responsible for teaching and learning. As well, professional standards are in place for school leaders. Links to each of the related learning and school leadership standards are included below:
The Type 75 certificate is valid for five years and may be renewed by completing Illinois Administrator Academy courses. A web site hosted by the Illinois State Board of Education includes a list of professional development activities for K-12 administrators for Illinois Adminstrator Academy (IAA) credit.
Public Act 094-1039 requires all new principals to complete a one-year mentoring program.
Public Act 094-1039 also created a voluntary Illinois Distinguished Principal Leadership Institute.
Data and Assessment - ISBE Data Analysis and Progress Reporting lists all of the data collection and reporting done by the Illinois State Board of Education.Funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), the Quality Counts: Quality Rating System (QRS) is a voluntary system to assist Illinois child care programs in providing quality care for children and their families. While many states use QRS as a rating system for early childhood centers (private, public, and home-based), Illinois also uses as an incentive a quality add-on rate to the CCAP standard daily reimbursement rate for centers that achieve a certain level.
Incentives - Incentives provide motivation for changes in policy and practice and in Illinois this occurs often in grant funding. Illinois’ Preschool for All program requires grantees to develop continuity and transitioning to kindergarten, as well as to monitor child’s development in early elementary years
The national policy scan links to sites for policies, practices, and programs that have received attention for their potential to create an aligned learning continuum. These sites are grouped in the following categories: governance, standards, certification, professional development, data, conditions, and incentives. A 50-state overview also provides an analysis of state’s birth to grade three alignment efforts. Many national organizations, including National Association of State Boards of Education, National Governor’s Association, Chief Council of State School Officers, and National Association of Elementary School Principals have led national early childhood and school readiness efforts. Through another national initiative, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Education Commission of the States coordinated Linking Ready Kids to Ready Schools, an initiative coordinated by Mimi Howard at the Education Commission of the State that brought together key state policy and education stakeholders in Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Ohio, and Pennsylvania to create and sustain smooth transitions and aligned programs and practices across early learning and the early grades.
The World Forum Foundation promotes global exchange of ideas on the delivery of quality services for young children in diverse settings. Windows on the World provides information on child demographics and early childhood policies and practices in over 100 nations of the world. Another useful site for international information on early childhood can be found at the Association for Childhood Education International website. Highlights of international policies and practices in countries related to the work of the LINC initiative are highlighted below.
Governance - Evanston, Illinois has two structures in place that encourage collaboration among the early learning community and between educational sectors. The Evanston Community Foundation offers a program, Leadership Evanston, that educates leaders in our community. The Early Childhood Collaboration brings together all the leaders and directors in early education in Evanston.