Indiana has a shortage of available early childhood education, and only a fraction of what’s available meets state benchmarks. Studies show that the quality of education before kindergarten can affect academic and professional success.
In response to the state’s shortcomings, a group of early childhood education leaders are implementing a tool in Marion County to help students succeed.
The tool is called “Getting on Track,” or “GoT” for short. It involves testing students three times a year on their math and language skills. Those assessments are then used by educators to guide lessons.
Claire Fiddian Green is with the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, a key funder in the project. She said the tool will help make early childhood education more equitable for statistically disadvantaged students.
“We know that high quality early learning, especially for children from low income families, better sets them up for long-term success,” Green said.
She adds that the goal is to close achievement gaps that are based on race or family income.
Implementation of GoT started this school year. It will continue until the end of 2023, when the data will be evaluated.
The Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation is among the financial supporters of initiatives based at WFYI.