Informing the performance-based contract between First 5 LA and LAUP -- Volume 2: Background and supporting analyses for the 2012-2013 study of child progress: Final report
In February 2004, First 5 LA adopted a 10-year universal preschool master plan to increase the availability of high quality preschool spaces in Los Angeles County and created Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP) to implement the plan. A shared objective of First 5 LA and LAUP is to support early learning and development for the four-year-old children that have an opportunity to participate in LAUP programs. To meet this objective, First 5 LA and LAUP have begun to track the progress of children during their year in LAUP programs as an element of the performance-based contract between the two organizations. Beginning in the 2009-2010 program year, Mathematica Policy Research worked with First 5 LA and LAUP to identify the domains of development they sought to track, identify appropriate measures, and set targets for progress across the year. Those targets were applied for the first time in the 2011-2012 program year based on data collected by Mathematica as part of the fifth phase of the Universal Preschool Child Outcomes Study (UPCOS). Because LAUP has a new population of children every year, First 5 LA and LAUP have agreed to revisit the targets each year to consider whether the most recent data regarding LAUP children signal a need to change the targets or whether there are any factors within or external to LAUP that might influence what First 5 LA and LAUP want prioritized within the targets. Thus, the targets were revised for the 2012-2013 program year in a collaborative process between First 5 LA and LAUP that was facilitated by Mathematica. As part of UPCOS-6, Mathematica conducted direct child assessments to determine whether the agreed-upon targets for 2012-2013 were met. Purpose and Summary of Volume 2. This report is split into two volumes. In Volume 1, we answered the study's primary research questions: (1) what was the progress of LAUP children during the 2012-2013 program year, and (2) did LAUP meet the child progress performance targets included in its contract with First 5 LA? We also described LAUP families based on parent responses to a brief questionnaire. The primary purpose of Volume 2 is to provide information that can help extend understanding of the purpose of the study and the results presented in Volume 1--both background information about the study and results of exploratory and technical analyses based on study data. (author abstract)
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