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Authentic Child Assessment

Authentic Child Assessment

At the heart of Results Matter, and improving preschool outcomes for children with disabilities, is a developmentally appropriate assessment that provides valid, meaningful, and representative information about young children. Early childhood care and education providers implement Results Matter through the use of approved assessment tools that are developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate for children being and are designed for this type of progress monitoring assessment. Authentic assessment is tied to children’s daily activities, supported by professional development, and is inclusive of families; it should be purposefully used to make sound decisions about teaching and learning, identify significant concerns that may require focused intervention for individual children, and help programs improve their educational and developmental interventions. Through Results Matter, assessment strategies of ongoing observation, portfolio documentation, and finalization of data at checkpoints throughout the year, educators plan for the instructional needs and monitor progress of young children in their care who have an Individualized Education Program (IEP).

Authentic assessment is:

  • Developmentally Appropriate – uses assessment tools that considered by the scientific and professional community to be valid, reliable, and appropriate for young children.
  • Ongoing – educators observe, document, and monitor the progress of children throughout the year.
  • Naturalistic – occurs in children’s everyday routines with familiar people, places, and things.
  • Multifaceted – draws from a variety of sources including multiple team members’ observations and children’s own work samples and portfolios.
  • A Whole Child Approach – assesses all areas of learning and development including social-emotional, language, literacy, math, physical, and cognitive development as well as approaches to learning, creative arts, social studies, and science.
  • Useful – helps teachers plan, measure progress, work with families, and individualize learning.

Learn more about Early Childhood Assessment in Preschool Through 3rd Grade.

Understanding Results Matter Assessment and Preschool- Aged Children with Individual Education Programs (IEPs)

This technical Assistance document from the Office of Special Education and the CDE Early Childhood Special Education team focuses on Results Matter Assessment and Preschool- Aged Children with Significant Support Needs.