Early Childhood Assessment Resources

A critical component of MDE’s comprehensive assessment system are age-appropriate Kindergarten Entry Profile (KEP)-approved assessments. These standards-based assessments produce valid and reliable data and are also high-quality, comprehensive and developmentally appropriate. The data from KEP-approved assessments can help teachers, administrators, and families understand what students know and are able to do to support their success in school and beyond.

MDE encourages Pre-K-3rd Grade (P3) systems to consider adopting KEP-approved assessments since these assessments can be used with children across ages, grades, and programs (e.g., prekindergarten, kindergarten, Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK), School Readiness, School Readiness Plus (SRP), Early Childhood Special Education, Head Start, and child care programs).

KEP-approved assessments for School Year (SY) 2019-20:

  • COR Advantage, produced by High Scope
    • For use with children from birth through kindergarten
  • Desired Results Developmental Profile – (DRDP), Comprehensive View, published by WestEd and the California Department of Education
    • DRDP-PS, for use with children up to two years prior to kindergarten entry (i.e. 3- and 4-year-olds)
    • DRDP-K, for use with children in kindergarten
  • GOLD, published by Teaching Strategies
    • For use with children from birth through third grade
  • Work Sampling System (WSS), published by Pearson
    • WSS-P3, for use with children two years prior to kindergarten entry (i.e. 3-year-olds)
    • WSS-P4, for use with children one year prior to kindergarten entry (i.e. 4-year olds)
    • WSS-K, for use with children in kindergarten
KEP-approved assessments are standards-based formative assessments that produce valid and reliable information that can help teachers, administrators, and families understand what students know and are able to do to support their success in school and beyond. Data from KEP-approved assessments (along with other relevant information) can also be used to guide continuous program improvement efforts including:

  • Reading Well by Third Grade.
  • World’s Best Workforce.
  • Child Outcome Summary Forms (COSF) reporting.
  • Parent Aware 3- and 4-star-rated programs in order to fulfill their assessment requirement.
 

Comparing KEP-Approved Assessments

While each KEP-approved assessment has met several rigorous MDE review criteria, they also differ in several ways. This document allows administrators and teachers to compare KEP-approved assessments, including which ages/grades the assessment may be used with or – if there are different versions of the assessment – which versions may be used with specific ages/grades. 

Implementing and Scaling-Up KEP-Approved Assessments

KEP-approved assessments are required by statute or recommended for use by voluntary prekindergarten (VPK), school readiness plus (SRP), early childhood special education (ECSE) and School Readiness (SR) early learning programs. This Quick Guide contains guidance for early learning programs implementing and scaling-up the use of a KEP-approved assessment.

Assessment Alignment Documents

One of the most critical components of KEP-approved assessments is that they are based on Minnesota’s learning standards. These alignment documents help answer the question “How do we know that an MDE-approved P3 assessment measures what Minnesota’s children and students know and are able to do?” Each document contains a table that illustrates how these assessments align (or does not align) to Minnesota’s (a) early learning standards, aka the Early Childhood Indicators of Progress (ECIPs), and (b) the Kindergarten Academic Standards.


Purchase Assessments at a Discounted Rate

Discounted rates for KEP-approved P3 assessments are available statewide to school districts, charter schools, Head Start programs and some nonprofit child care programs. Review this document to ensure that you are not overpaying for these assessments.