Are the children growing in their literacy?

The Purpose of Data Collection

Virginia McManus on the how, why, when, and purpose of data collection at FluentSeeds.

As an early educator,

Virginia saw how challenging it can be when kindergartners enter school with huge disparities. Some children begin knowing all the letter names and sounds of the English alphabet, while others are having their first-ever experience with English letter practice. This wide variation makes the challenging job of teaching even more difficult, driving home to Virginia the importance of high-quality early literacy programs to establish solid foundational skills in preschool.

In addition to her experience as an educator and reading specialist, Virginia conducted economic research for the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab in India and is married to an economist and statistician. Her interest in data and its uses runs deep! She found her way to the FluentSeeds team through Oakland connections, most notably The Oakland REACH, where she contributed her efforts to establishing its well-known and successful Literacy Liberator Hub.

For FluentSeeds,

the central question is, “Are we seeing the outcomes with kids that we want to see?” To answer that FluentSeeds collects data from partners big and small. Child assessment data provides insight not only into what a child is learning but how educators can build on their strengths to better support that learning. Evaluative educator data is gathered through field coaching observations that measure fidelity to the SEEDS model and educator comfort level with strategies and growth across time.

The twin engines of RCT impact evaluation results and ongoing robust implementation monitoring are uncommon in an early-stage nonprofit. Virginia emphasizes how FluentSeeds is extraordinarily fortunate to have both the NORC randomized controlled trial that proves the effectiveness of the SEEDS model as well as a dedicated internal system to continually monitor each individual’s knowledge and growth, ensuring FluentSeeds is having the greatest possible impact for kids.

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