SRCD State Policy Fellow Professional Portfolio Abstracts: Clarissa Corkins, M.S.
Introduction: As a fellow at the Oklahoma State Department of Education Office of Curriculum and Instruction, I worked with the early childhood team to utilize my research skills to advance their work in supporting early childhood educators and administrators across the state. My portfolio entries emphasize the use of my knowledge of the developmental science literature impacting young children to guide preparation of documents to be used to envision and evaluate curriculum and instructional programs.
Portfolio Entry 1: Programs of Excellence Pre-K and Kindergarten Rubric
Background: The placement agency oversees the implementation of the state-wide universal 4-year-old Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten programs in addition to the state Programs of Excellence/Champions of Excellence initiative. (https://sde.ok.gov/championexcellence) The agency wanted to expand the envision rubrics of the Programs of Excellence to accommodate Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten programming to create a vision for this programming across the state.
Goal(s): To develop an evidence-based rubric that envisions quality practices in Pre-K and K programming across the state of Oklahoma.
Contributions of Fellow:
- Organized and led all parts of the development of the rubric.
- Utilized a qualitative approach to synthesize quality indicators of Pre-K and K programs across multiple states and standardized measures of quality.
- Developed multiple visuals to organize and understand groupings of indicators.
- Integrated identified indicators into previously defined Programs of Excellence rubrics.
- Reviewed current research on program quality to ensure alignment.
- Drafted indicators for initial review.
- Collaborated with state early childhood staff to refine content of indicators to confirm alignment to the Oklahoma public school context.
- Conducted focus groups with teachers and administrators to obtain feedback on draft rubric.
- Synthesized feedback from multiple stakeholders including teachers, administrators, teacher educators, and research staff to produce a final draft rubric.
Activity Focus Keywords: Community Collaboration; Conduct Interviews; Data Analysis; Data Collection; Data Visualization; Disseminate Findings; Document Review; Literature Review; Presentation; Rubric Development
Policy Area Keywords: Classroom Quality; Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI); Dual Language Development (DLL); Family Engagement; Kindergarten Outcomes; Local Education Agency (LEA); Pre-kindergarten (Pre-K); Pre-kindergarten to Kindergarten Transition; Professional Development; Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS); School Readiness; State Funded Pre-kindergarten
Knowledge & Skills Keywords: Evidence-based policymaking at the state level; Processes to connect research to policy and practice; Conducting research that’s useful to policy and practice; Effective communication between researchers, practitioners, and policymakers; Incorporating a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens
Portfolio Entry 2: Programs of Excellence Pre-K and Kindergarten Rubric Research Base
Background: The placement agency requests a justification for including the indicators and materials in the Programs of Excellence Pre-K/K rubric (Portfolio Entry #1). The agency may use this resource in future activities or in support of the rubric.
Goal(s): To provide an evidence-based rationale for the inclusion of material in the Programs of Excellence Pre-K/K rubric.
Contributions of Fellow:
- Brainstormed organization techniques to synthesize the evidence base.
- Ensured easy accessibility for agency staff to access information once the fellowship is over.
- Compiled documents and resources used to justify the inclusion of material in the rubric.
Activity Focus Keywords: Annotated Bibliography; Literature Review; Data Organization
Policy Area Keywords: Kindergarten Outcomes; Pre-kindergarten (Pre-K); Research-Practice Partnerships; State-Funded Preschool
Knowledge & Skills Keywords: Evidence-based policymaking at the state level; Processes to connect research to policy and practice; Conducting research that’s useful to policy and practice; Effective communication between researchers, practitioners, and policymakers
Portfolio Entry 3: High Quality Instructional Materials (HQIM) Evaluation Rubric Development for Pre-K/K Comprehensive Curriculum; Content Review
Background: In alignment with Oklahoma HB 3466, to be considered for state textbook adoption, instructional materials that bid to the State Textbook Committee (STC) require a content-specific review. For Pre-K/K Comprehensive Curriculums, a content-specific rubric is currently being developed to be used in future cycles to consider Early Childhood Education (specifically Pre-K and K) instructional materials. Materials must meet an “Approaching Quality” rating or “Exemplifies Quality” rating in all gateways to be considered state approved for LEAs to utilize state-approved funds. (https://sde.ok.gov/hqim)
Goal(s): To develop a content evaluation rubric for Pre-K and K comprehensive curricula to systematically identify quality, state-approved instructional materials.
Contributions of Fellow:
- Provided both written and verbal feedback on draft indicators and guiding/key questions for the rubric.
- Utilized knowledge of developmental research to ensure alignment with the current evidence base.
- Collaborated with multiple content-experts (including SPED and DLL) to ensure alignment for all students.
Activity Focus Keywords: Document Review; Evaluation; Curriculum Rubric Development
Policy Area Keywords: Classroom Quality; Dual Language Learners (DLLs); Early Intervention; Kindergarten Outcomes; Local Education Agency (LEA); Pre-kindergarten (Pre-K); State-Funded Preschool; State Standards
Knowledge & Skills Keywords: Evidence-based policymaking at the state level; Processes to connect research to policy and practice; Effective communication between researchers, practitioners, and policymakers; Incorporating a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens