Issue

Alignment of the ELGs with other documents

Rationale:

Alignment is a key component of effective early education and continuity in services provided to children across programs/systems and age/grade levels. In order to be maximally useful, the ELG document must align with other standards documents used for children younger and older than those covered in the ELGs. The ELGs should also align with other materials used in conjunction with the development of young children, such as the curricula and assessments used with the age range addressed by the ELGs.

Recommendation(s):

Those involved in the development of the ELGs should have a solid knowledge of other standards documents that pertain to children younger and older than those covered by the ELGs being developed. They should also be aware of other documents (e.g., curricula and assessments) being used for the children who will be covered by the ELGs being developed and should systematically analyze the alignment between draft ELGs and other documents before the content of ELGs is finalized.

Considerations:

General Considerations: If the ELGs are being developed and there are no standards for younger and older children, then vertical alignment is not necessary. In most situations, however, there will be existing standards or ELGs, such as standards for kindergarten-age children, which should be considered when developing pre-kindergarten ELGs. In these cases, those involved with the development of the ELGs should have an understanding of existing ELGs and standards, and should make some judgment regarding their appropriateness for the intended age group. If they are deemed appropriate, then the ELGs to be developed should align with them. If they are not appropriate for their intended age group or if they do not represent all domains of development, then the new ELGs should be developed using the knowledge and skills of those involved in the process. Moreover, the emerging ELGs need to be horizontally aligned with the other materials in use for the age group including curricula and assessments. If these are deemed comprehensive, appropriate, and not in need of revision, then the ELGs should align with them.

The process of alignment is quite technical and involves a thorough analysis of existing documents. Alignment involves more than a simple matching; it must take balance, breadth, depth, and difficulty of the documents into consideration. In most cases, an alignment analysis is carried out by technical experts before the new ELGs are finalized.

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