• Kindergarten Entry Assessment (KEA)

    Michigan's Kindergarten Entry Assessment (KEA) is an authentic observational system (provided by GOLD) for assessing children in the first 60 days of kindergarten. The KEA will provide teachers and parents with important criterion-based information about a child's learning and development in six domains at the beginning of kindergarten so that teachers can inform individual instruction and parents can provide learning opportunities beyond the school day. The domains assessed include:

    • Mathematics
    • Literacy
    • Language
    • Approaches Toward Learning/Cognitive
    • Social and Emotional Development
    • Physical and Motor Development

    The KEA is an assessment that allows teachers to look closely at student skills and behaviors to get a picture of the whole child. It focuses on collecting and documenting information that is most important in predicting future school success. It evaluates student skills and behaviors along a continuum of learning progressions for each item assessed. It helps teachers use data to inform their instruction and determine intervention strategies that will increase their students' learning trajectories. Its use allows teachers to generate parent reports that include helpful activities for parents to use at home that are directly tied to the student's instructional needs.

    KEA Pilot Project

    Our experience during the three-year KEA pilot project provided evidence that observation-based assessments require a significant level of preparation, training, professional development, and support for our kindergarten educators before implementation.

    MDE is developing a plan and timeline for next steps in implementation of authentic observation-based assessments upon Kindergarten entry as part of the Early Literacy Initiative. This work is still ongoing, so there will be no KEA at the state level in the fall of 2016. For teachers in schools who have already begun the journey to implement authentic observation-based assessments (schools that participated in Fall 2015), MDE has offered the opportunity to continue using the TS Gold KEA tool in the 2016-17 school year at the local level.

    A stakeholder feedback group has been formed and will inform the 2017-18 implementation of the Kindergarten Entry Status Observation of Skills (KEOS).

    MDE will provide additional Professional Development opportunities for teachers in Developmentally Appropriate Practices (DAP) and implementing authentic observation-based assessment of child development skills.

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