Last month, the DC Public Charter School Board officially adopted the new early childhood performance management framework with a few good revisions. But there is still a lot of room for improvement.
In late August, Conor Williams and I wrote about the proposed framework, which was controversial among many parents and early childhood advocates. The framework is intended to be a common accountability tool that will be used to evaluate public charter schools serving pre-K through 2nd grade, beginning this year. The framework, however, will first be used to tier schools in 2015.
One of the major concerns about the proposed framework is the overemphasis on student outcomes, PreK-2nd grade, in literacy and math. In these early years, teachers are helping children develop a love for learning and inquiry. Children are learning to explore, be creative, problem-solve, and engage in positive interactions with adults and their peers. Because social-emotional development is so important to young children’s education, assessing it should be more than an “option” in the performance management framework. As it stands, however, DC’s PMF does not require charter schools to assess SEL.