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From the Director's Desk

An introduction to the issue on Early Childhood Programs and Evaluation by HFRP's Founder & Director, Heather B. Weiss, Ed.D.

From the Guest Editor

The Current State of Early Childhood Education

Lisa Klein, guest editor for this issue, reflects on the progress made inthe early childhood field over the past 40 years and on the work that still has to be done.

Theory & Practice

Evaluating Early Childhood Services: What's Really Behind the Curtain

Jack Shonkoff, dean of the Heller School at Brandeis University, describes the highly politicized environment of program evaluation and its attendant challenges.

Promising Practices

Transitioning to School: Policy, Practice, and Reality

Robert Pianta of the University of Virginia's the Curry School of Education discusses helping young children to better transition from preschool to kindergarten and into the early years of grade school.

Promising Practices

North Carolina's Smart Start Initiative: A Decade of Evaluation Lessons

Donna Bryant and Karen Ponder describe the past 10 years of evaluating North Carolina's nationally recognized early childhood initiative.

Ask the Expert

Closing the Achievement Gap: Head Start and Beyond

Ed Zigler, Ron Haskins, and G. Reid Lyon discuss the past and future of Head Start, the country's first federally funded early childhood program.

Beyond Basic Training

The Road From Research to Outcomes

Jana Martella, from the Council of Chief State School Officers, describes a data-driven approach to developing and integrating policy into the nation's school systems.

Beyond Basic Training

Thoughts on Early Childhood Research: Improving Connections

Marilou Hyson and Heather Biggar, from the National Association for the Education of Young Children, offer ideas for how stakeholders in early childhood can share research results.

Beyond Basic Training

Learning a New Language: Effectively Communicating Early Childhood Research to State Legislators

Jack Tweedie, from the National Conference of State Legislatures, explains how to convey research to legislators in ways likely to influence their policymaking.

Beyond Basic Training

Supporting Governors' Early Childhood Policy Decisions: The Role of Research

Anna Lovejoy, from the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, describes how the organization keeps governors informed about emerging issues in early childhood.

Questions & Answers

A Conversation With Art Rolnick

Economist Art Rolnick discusses his approach to early childhood investment, which he describes as “economic investment in human capital.”

Spotlight

The Home Visit Forum: Understanding and Improving the Role of Home Visitation

Heather Weiss, HFRP director, describes a consortium of national organizations working to improve home visitation models.

Spotlight

Private Foundations and the Move Toward Universal Preschool

Guest Editor Lisa Klein reveals how private foundations are spending their money in the emerging arena of universal preschool.

Spotlight

Infant-Toddler Intervention on the Road to School Readiness: Lessons From Early Head Start

Helen Raikes, John Love, and Rachel Chazan-Cohen from the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation team discuss the importance of intervention in the early years.

Spotlight

Rethinking the Evaluation of Family Strengthening Strategies: Beyond Traditional Program Evaluation Models

Charles Bruner of the Child and Family Policy Center outlines three factors of good family strengthening programs that evaluators are not adequately measuring in their evaluations.

Spotlight

Identifying School Readiness Indicators to Stimulate Policy Action

Elizabeth Burke Bryant and Catherine Walsh, of Rhode Island Kids Count, give an account of the School Readiness Indicators Initiative.

Spotlight

Early Head Start: Further Lessons

Catherine Ayoub and Barbara Pan, from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, describe their work collecting and analyzing longitudinal data to supplement national findings from the Early Head Start study.

Evaluations to Watch

The Build Initiative: An Evaluation of State-Level System-Building Efforts

Barbara Gebhard of Build describes the initiative's interactive evaluation approach.

Evaluations to Watch

Early to Read: A Local Emergent Literacy Initiative

This article describes a Knight Foundation early literacy initiative in Philadelphia and its ongoing evaluation.

New & Noteworthy

An annotated list of organizations and initiatives related to the issue's theme of Early Childhood Programs and Evaluation.

This issue of The Evaluation Exchange was published by Harvard Family Research Project, edited by Lisa Klein, guest editor, and Marielle Bohan-Baker, contributing editor. The issue was produced by Stacey Miller, publications/communications manager and Tezeta Tulloch, publications editor. All rights reserved. This periodical may not be reproduced whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. To request reprint permission, email hfrp_pubs@gse.harvard.edu.

Harvard Family Research Project gratefully acknowledges the support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Marguerite Casey Foundation, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The contents of this publication are solely the responsibility of Harvard Family Research Project and do not necessarily reflect the view of our funders.

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