Bias and Sensitivity Review of Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS)
The WaKIDS Process
The Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS) is a kindergarten readiness assessment process that was piloted in school year 2010-2011. The Department of Early Learning (DEL), the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), and Thrive by Five Washington designed and implemented the WaKIDS pilot. OSPI and DEL will rolled out the WaKIDS process on a voluntary basis starting with the 2011-12 school year.
As part of the statewide WaKIDS system planning process, OSPI, DEL and Thrive by Five Washington engaged in a bias and sensitivity review of the WaKIDS components. The purpose of this review was to examine the process steps and the materials used to identify recommendations for implementing the process in a bias-free and culturally sensitive manner.
Thirty diverse reviewers were selected from over 150 applicants. The group included early childhood educators, parents, kindergarten teachers, school administrators, and higher education faculty from across the state, and included tribal representation. They participated in a two-day process that examined the three major processes of WaKIDS, including Family Connections, Early Learning Collaboration, and the Whole Child Assessment Process and materials. The reviewers participated in a half-day research-based training on bias and sensitivity considerations, which included race/ethnicity/culture, sex and gender, religion, age group, disability and socioeconomic considerations. They generated recommendations for the larger processes, and for implementing the assessment tools in a way that embraces and honors families as central partners, contributors and decision makers. This report shows the synthesized recommendations from the reviewers.