Readiness for school -- Oregon, Early childhood education, Kindergarten -- Oregon
Across the United States, there is a growing recognition that early education and K-12 systems require transformative changes to address racial, ethnic, linguistic and economic disparities in school readiness and success.
Prenatal-through-Grade-3 (P-3) initiatives address these disparities by coordinating, strengthening and aligning fragmented support systems for families and children from birth through third grade.
These increasingly popular initiatives:
- Are based on accumulating evidence that standalone early childhood and school-based programs are not sufficient to sustain long-term success for children facing early childhood inequities
- Take a collective impact approach that brings families, early childhood providers, K-12 staff and other partners together to work toward the shared goal of improving school readiness and success
- Build on the strengths of diverse programs and partners, identifying and addressing gaps in the system of supports and working together — rather than in isolation — to foster school readiness and success Since 2010, Portland State University’s P-3 evaluation team has partnered with Oregon communities to collect information on the implementation and outcomes of P-3 initiatives. In reviewing this information and related national research, we have identified two sets of key elements for successful P-3 initiatives.
- Foundations are the basic functional elements needed to establish a successful P-3 initiative.
- Catalysts are elements that promote and sustain the initiative’s progress toward improving educational systems, programs and outcomes.
Using a school bus as an analogy, foundations are functional features such as the tires, seats, and engine and travel route. Catalysts are energizing factors that move the bus from point A to point B, such as fuel, a driver and a feedback system that provides information on course corrections and progress toward the destination.
This summary describes both types of elements and offers examples of their use in P-3 work. We believe this framework provides a useful set of organizing principles to maximize the effectiveness of P-3 initiatives.
Patterson, L., Green, B. L., Lambarth, C. H., Burton, M. & Reid, D. (2018). Building Successful P-3 Initiatives: Foundations and Catalysts for Systems Change. Portland, OR: Center for Improvement of Child & Family Services, Portland State University