2016 State Policy Learning Table

State Policy and Supports to Promote Effective Teaching and Learning

The BUILD Initiative and the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) support state policymakers to implement high-quality early learning and development policies, programs, and practices in order to improve outcomes for young children. 

In 2016, we are entering Year 2 of the project to learn from and with state leaders how to effectively implement policy that promotes professional learning, positive teaching conditions, culturally relevant teaching practices and credentialing and licensing systems that promote effective early childhood teaching and learning for children from birth through 3rd grade.


In the project’s first year, we worked with national experts and state leaders to identify ideas, best practices, resources to inform “what” policies and practices most effectively advance teaching quality and “how” those policies and programs can be implemented to effectively support teaching and learning. We engaged teams from six states in the work of articulating the opportunities to implement coherent and aligned professional development and accountability policies for birth-3rd grade teachers. As a result of these efforts, we identified four policies (see below) that we suggest represent the highest value and most coherent set of policies, the powerful and few, which could have great potential to improve teaching and learning for young children birth through 3rd grade.

In this Learning Table we expect the selected state leaders to address one or more of the following policy recommendations as applied within their state context:

1.       States have a professional learning policy that promotes positive teaching conditions for all roles in the birth-3rd grade workforce

2.       States have an educator evaluation policy that promotes professional learning for all roles in the birth-3rd grade workforce.

3.       States embed expectations for the use of developmentally, culturally, and individually appropriate instructional tools within QRIS, Pre-K, and other program standards.

4.       States amend early childhood educator and leader credentialing and licensure policies to assure the birth-3rd grade workforce has demonstrated competence specific to early childhood education and culturally responsive teaching.

This work is documented in the paper titled Sharpening the Focus: State Policy to Promote Effective Teaching that Improves Learning, which we encourage you to read.