New Mexico Prekindergarten Projects

Analytic Technical Support

New Mexico Prekindergarten Data Inventory (completed)

REL Southwest has completed a data inventory for the New Mexico Prekindergarten Research Alliance. This inventory provides information on data sources, the data elements contained within those sources, and the applicability of the data to inform and advance the alliance's research agenda. Sources include data collected and maintained by the New Mexico Public Education Department; the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department; the U.S. Department of Education; and other organizations. Data elements included in the inventory focus on children from birth through elementary school; parents, caregivers, and teachers; and prekindergarten programs and elementary schools.

PreK Literature Review and Gap Analysis: Preparing for Future Analyses of New Mexico PreK Programs and Students’ Academic Progress (completed)

REL Southwest has completed a scan of the research literature to determine what existing studies indicate are characteristics of effective preK programs as well as child skills associated with successful kindergarten entry and later academic success. In addition, the project assessed how well these indicators align with available data in New Mexico, the quality of the available data, and the data's ability to support future research.

New Mexico Transportation and Preschool Access (completed)

REL Southwest provided technical assistance to help alliance members identify transportation issues and other factors that limit access to preschool in New Mexico, particularly among Hispanic and Native American children living in rural areas. The findings will help state agencies in New Mexico develop policies and strategies to reduce or eliminate barriers to preschool participation, particularly in rural areas of the state.

New Mexico PreK Participation for Special Populations (completed)

REL Southwest provided technical assistance to help alliance members examine preK participation patterns by student demographics, such as region, socioeconomic status, and race/ethnicity, to compare preK participation rates across student populations of interest. The project also examined changes in student characteristics over time for those students attending preK programs administered by the New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) and the State of New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD). The findings provided important contextual information regarding potentially underserved student subpopulations in New Mexico and patterns and disparities in preK participation across student subgroups.

Using GIS Mapping to Understand PreK Availability and Need in New Mexico (completed)

This technical assistance project included the development of a comprehensive set of Geographic Information System (GIS) maps describing statewide participation in the New Mexico PreK program as well as program availability in relation to need. In addition, the project built the capacity of state agencies to integrate the GIS maps into their data systems.

Kindergarten Observation Tool Validation Study

REL Southwest is conducting a short study to assess New Mexico's new Kindergarten Observation Tool (KOT), including the tool's validity, reliability, and fairness. The study is the first validation assessment of the KOT. In addition, REL Southwest will provide technical assistance to support alliance members and state policymakers in applying the study's findings as they refine the tool and scale up its use statewide.

New Mexico Kindergarten Readiness

REL Southwest is providing technical assistance to help alliance members examine differences in kindergarten readiness—as determined by the state’s new Kindergarten Readiness Assessment and the DIBELS assessment—for different student subgroups and students attending state-funded PreK programs. The findings will provide alliance members and state policymakers with information regarding the strength of the new Kindergarten Readiness Assessment and will assist in the development of strategies to support low-performing preK and kindergarten students.