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Strong Foundations For Our Youngest Children

Session 1: In-Person Meeting

March 8-9, 2016

Pre-Session Assignments:

Whole Group

Credentialing Cohort

Instructional Tools Cohort

Meeting Resource Materials:

Presenter Biographies:

Dr. Linda M. Espinosa is currently Co-PI for the Getting on Track for Early School Success: Effective Teaching in Preschool Classrooms project at the University of Chicago and former Co-PI for the Center for Early Care and Education Research—Dual Language Learners (CECER-DLL) at Frank Porter Graham CDI at the U of NC. She is Professor Emeritus of Early Childhood Education at the University of Missouri, Columbia and has served as the Co-Director of the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University and Vice President at Bright Horizons Family Solutions. Her recent research and policy work has focused on effective curriculum and assessment practices for young children from low-income families who are dual language learners. Dr. Espinosa also served on the Head Start National Reporting System (NRS) Technical Advisory Group as well as the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Head Start Research and Evaluation and was recently appointed to the National Academies Committee on Fostering School Success for English Language Learners. Recently, she has co-authored the California Early Learning Foundations English Language Learners Chapter, the California Preschool Curriculum Frameworks English Language Development Chapter, and the Desired Results Developmental Profile, 2010, English Language Development Assessment Measures. Dr. Espinosa served as the lead consultant for the LAUSD Transitional Kindergarten program development team and is a member of the Council for Professional Development Governing Board. [email protected]

Rebecca Gomez conducts research at NIEER related to early childhood education policy and systems, with a particular focus on professional development/workforce issues and governance. In addition to this research, she manages the annual Preschool Yearbook project, and also provides research support and technical assistance for the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO).  She is the co-editor of the volume Early childhood governance: Choices and consequences (2015, Teachers College Press) along with Dr. Sharon Lynn Kagan, several peer reviewed journal articles related to professional development and professional development systems, as well as numerous book chapters, policy briefs, and technical reports. Prior to joining the faculty at NIEER, she served as the Rauch Postdoctoral Research Fellow and a Graduate Research Fellow at the National Center for Children and Families at Teachers College, Columbia University, conducting research related to early childhood systems and policies domestically and internationally.  She also has extensive experience working in state and national policy contexts, including the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Quality Rating and Improvement System, Keystone STARS; the National Association for Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies; and, the State of New Hampshire’s Child Development Bureau.  She earned her Doctorate from Teachers College Columbia University. Dr. Gomez began her career in early childhood as a preschool teacher. 

Elliot Regenstein leads the Ounce of Prevention Fund's national policy consultation practice and coordinates its overall state and national policy efforts. He has extensive experience in working directly with states on policy development, and is a frequent speaker and author on topics including governance, data systems, and linkages between early learning and K–12. He also partners with the First Five Years Fund to support policy change at the federal level. Regenstein was one of the chief architects of Illinois' 2006 Preschool for All program while serving in the governor's office as director of education reform. Regenstein co-chaired the Illinois Early Learning Council from 2004 until April 2009 and currently serves as a member of the council's executive committee, co-chairing its data, research and evaluation committee. He holds a bachelor of arts in history from Columbia University and a law degree from the University of Michigan, and after law school served as a clerk to the Hon. Kenneth F. Ripple on the United State Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Jim Squires serves as Senior Technical Assistance Specialist at the Center for Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) and Senior Research Fellow at the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University. Formerly the early childhood programs coordinator at the Vermont Department of Education and past president of the National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education, provides technical assistance to state and regional educational agencies. He has taught and directed programs for young children in child care, Head Start, public schools, migrant education, and university lab schools, as well as serving as adjunct faculty at the University of Vermont, Champlain College, and Community College of Vermont. He was also involved in the development of Vermont’s QRIS, Vermont STARS.