Senior Education and Health and Human Services Officials to Discuss the Importance of Data in Improving Early Learning Outcomes

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Senior officials from the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services will participate in a panel discussion at the 2016 Conference on Improving Data, Improving Outcomes in New Orleans on Aug. 15, 2016.

Speakers include Libby Doggett, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Early Learning at the U.S. Department of Education; Ruth Ryder, Acting Director of the Office of Special Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education; and Richard Gonzales, Director of the Early Childhood Division of Interagency & Special Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

During the panel discussion, Doggett, Ryder and Gonzales will talk about a new $1 million investment from ED and HHS in the Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) to implement the Pyramid Equity Project to provide technical assistance to early learning educators and ensure that the youngest learners are supported and nurtured. The Departments will partner with Preschool Development Grantees Clifton Early Learner Academy in Clifton, New Jersey, and Cambridge Early Learning Center in Antioch, Tennessee, to establish national models for addressing issues of implicit bias and uneven implementation of discipline, including expulsions and suspensions, in early learning programs. Recently a group of more than 30 national organizations, led by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, released a joint statement in support of the federal policy statement on expulsion and suspension in early learning.

The project builds on the Pyramid Model for Promoting the Social Emotional Competence of Infants and Young Children, which is a framework of evidence-based early childhood teaching practices to promote social-emotional development, prevent challenging behavior, and provide all children with individualized supports.

These efforts respond to recommendations put forth by the President's My Brother's Keeper Task Force to eliminate suspensions and expulsions in preschool and other early learning settings and allow families and caregivers to address children's physical, socioemotional and behavioral needs as early as possible.

The conference—co-hosted by The Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems, in collaboration with the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center, the IDEA Data Center and the National Center for Systemic Improvement—will bring together early learning stakeholders to help them increase state capacity to analyze and use data for improving programs.

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