User-Informed Principles

Developing Assessments for All Early Learners

a teacher with kids

The Measures for Early Success Initiative, with funding support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, aims to reimagine the landscape of early learning assessments for the millions of three- to five-year-olds enrolled in pre-K, so that more equitable data can be applied to meaningfully support and strengthen early learning experiences for all young children. The User-Informed Principles document is a target product profile (TPP) outlining design parameters for child assessment solutions that meet outstanding needs in the field of early childhood education.

Target product profiles are documents that have historically been used by the global health community to articulate goals, requirements, and specifications for the development of health care solutions. The Measures for Early Success Initiative adapted this approach to support the development of assessment solutions for publicly funded pre-K. This TPP prioritizes the experiences, strengths, and needs of pre-K educators, families, and children whose perspectives are less often elevated in the early design, creation, and validation of measurement and assessment tools—in particular, Black and Latine children, children who are learning Spanish and English, and children experiencing poverty. While these groups do not reflect the experiences of all historically marginalized groups of children, they are an important starting point for ensuring the development of more equitable and inclusive tools that meet the needs of a broad range of families and children being served in publicly funded pre-K programs today.

The User-Informed Principles intend to spur critical investments and innovations in the existing pre-K assessment landscape by identifying measurement items and solutions, gaps in existing solutions, priority areas for product development, and features of culturally responsive assessment solutions. They reflect what research and best practices suggest are needed. They also aim to support important stakeholder collaborations among pre-K decision-makers, assessment suppliers, researchers, educators, and families with children in pre-K to develop innovative assessment solutions. This document is designed to be sufficiently ambitious to meet the needs in the field for more equitable, scalable, and useful measures of children’s skills and competencies, while also elevating tensions inherent in equitable assessment design.

Document Details

Publication Type
February 2023
2023. User-Informed Principles. New York: MDRC.