Voluntary Pre-K (VPK) Provider Readiness Rates
About VPK Readiness Rates
The Florida Department of Education is required by law (Section 1002.69(5), Florida Statutes (F.S.)) to calculate a kindergarten readiness rate every year for each private or public school VPK Provider of either the School-Year (540-hour) or Summer (300-hour) program.
The VPK Provider Readiness Rate measures how well a VPK provider prepares four-year-olds to be ready for kindergarten based upon Florida's VPK Education Standards. The VPK Standards describe what four-year-old children should know and be able to do by the end of their VPK experience.
Readiness rates are calculated for all VPK providers that served at least four children, who attended at least 70-percent of either the School-Year VPK program or Summer VPK program, and participated in the kindergarten screening.
The VPK Provider Kindergarten Readiness Rate is based on the Florida Kindergarten Readiness Screener (FLKRS) scores of children who attended VPK and who are screened within the first 30 days upon entry into public or private school kindergarten. The 2010-11 FLKRS was made up of a subset of the Early Childhood Observation System (ECHOS), an observational instrument that is used to monitor the skills, knowledge, and behaviors a student demonstrates or needs to develop, and two measures, Broad Screen and Broad Diagnostic Inventory, from the Kindergarten Florida Assessments for Instruction in Reading-K (FAIR-K). The two FAIR-K measures replaced Letter Naming Fluency and Initial Sound Fluency from the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) used prior to 2010-11. For additional information on FLKRS, visit the FLDOE website at: http://www.fldoe.org/earlylearning/FLKRS2009.asp
- The switch from DIBELS to FAIR-K was also accompanied by a change in the measurement scale.
- The point value of the ECHOS portion of the readiness rate calculation remained the same at 100.
- The point value of FAIR-K was set at 100 vs. 200 for DIBELS. This change lowered the maximum readiness rate from 300 points to 200 points, a 33.3% reduction. Consequently, VPK provider readiness rates for 2008-09 and 2009-10 are not directly comparable to the rates for 2007-08 and earlier years.
Low Performing Providers
A low performing VPK provider is one whose readiness rate is at or below the bottom 15% of all providers’ readiness rates. The readiness rate at which this occurs is called the “Minimum Readiness Rate” (MRR) and is established by the Florida State Board of Education each year.
- The MRR for the 2009-10 VPK program year (2010-11 school year) was 140, slightly above the 2008-09 MRR of 138.
- The total number of VPK providers for whom readiness rates were calculated has increased 56% since 2005-06, resulting in an automatic increase in the number of providers falling below the MRR. Individual county performance is based on the readiness rates of VPK providers in that county vs. the statewide MRR. Thus, it’s possible for a county to have no providers falling below the MRR.
For detailed information on VPK Provider Readiness Rates and how the FLDOE calculates readiness rates and the MRR, please visit the FLDOE VPK website at: https://vpk.fldoe.org/InfoPages/FAQ.aspx
Pinellas County VPK Readiness Rates
Pinellas County VPK providers’ weighted average readiness rate for the 2009-10 program year was 175, 2.9% above the state average of 170 and 1.2% above 2008-09. Pinellas’ VPK readiness rate also exceeded the rate of comparably sized counties (see Chart 1).
For the 2009-10 program year, 27 Pinellas County providers, 10.2% of the county's 264 providers, fell below the MRR, substantially better than the state average of 15%. Pinellas has consistently outperformed the state and other counties of similar size since the inception of the program in 2005-06 (Chart 2).
Fifty-two percent of Pinellas' VPK providers in the 2009-10 program year achieved a readiness rate at or above the county average of 175. Thirty-nine providers, 15% of the total, achieved a readiness rate of 200, the highest rate possible - the average number of children served by these providers was 35% below the county average (Chart 3).
Use caution when utilizing the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) VPK Readiness Rates and the designation Low Performing Providers.
- Children enrolled in a pre-K program are not tested at the beginning of the program. Therefore, it is not possible to test the effectiveness of a provider’s program at the present time.
- According to the FLDOE, a “Low Performing Provider is a VPK provider whose readiness rate is at or below the bottom 15% of all providers’ readiness rates.” Thus, even if all providers attained a satisfactory Readiness Rate, the lowest 15% would still be considered Low Performing Providers.