Professor Jason Anthony Provides Expertise to Florida's Association of Early Learning Coalitions and Committee for Early Grade Success

CFS Professor Jason Anthony is Director of the Rightpath Research and Innovation Center at USF. He has extensive expertise in the foundational roles of language, literacy and mathematics development in early childhood and has recently been sought out to share knowledge gained from his research in the assessment of children, family-and school-based interventions, and program evaluation and statistics.

Florida's Association of Early Learning Coalitions (AELC)

Over 350,000 children participate in Florida’s publicly funded School Readiness (SR) and Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) programs. Florida’s 30 regional early learning coalitions are legislatively charged to provide unified leadership, support, and guidance to local service providers and to ensure that children participating in the SR and VPK programs receive developmentally appropriate and research-based early education.

Leadership from each of the 30 early learning coalitions comprise Florida’s Association of Early Learning Coalitions (AELC). Beyond building an early learning system that joins together SR programs, VPK programs, Head Start, Early Head Start, and community-based organizations, the AELC provides on-going input on policies, procedures, and best practices to Florida’s Office of Early Learning. Working toward this goal, Dr. Anthony was invited to address AELC’s board and then membership and speak to them about the components necessary for a successful quality rating and improvement system (QRIS).

Committee for Early Grade Success

The AELC invitation came on the heels of a similar presentation Dr. Anthony delivered at the state capital to the Committee for Early Grade Success, sponsored by the Helios Education Foundation. Representative Grall’s HB 419, entitled “Early Learning and Early Grade Success” proposes, among other things, a new accountability system (QRIS) for Florida’s early learning programs.