CRDG’s team of early childhood education evaluators contracted with the Hawai‘i P–20 Partnership for Education to collect data at preschools in Hawai‘i’s two Race to the Top (RTTT) “zones of school innovation” (ZSI). The ZSIs, one in the Nanakuli-Wai‘anae area and one in the Ka‘ū-Kea‘au-Pāhoa area, were established to target support to struggling schools.
RTTT is providing stipends so that children residing in the ZSIs may attend preschool as a way of building their school readiness, and thereby increase their potential for success. Pretest and posttest data collection by the CRDG team will contribute to a longitudinal database that will measure the success of the project.
The team of six data collectors, including principal investigator Susan Saka and CRDG’s Sue York and Lorna Afaga, administered the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test–Edition 4 (PPVT-4), an assessment of receptive English vocabulary widely used in the early childhood education community, to approximately 150 children at 35 sites. Planning and logistics were crucial since the testing window was a mere two weeks. Scheduling also had to take school schedules and student absences into account, as well as the time of day and attention span of preschool-age children.
CRDG evaluators had previously undergone training and certification for two other early learning assessments and had worked with the University of Hawai‘i’s Center on the Family to develop local capacity in the area of effective evaluation techniques for use with young children.