Judy Centers use the Results-Based Accountability method to set their annual goal and headline performance measures based on local data and to track their success. Every Judy Center must produce an annual evaluation report on how well they met the goal and headline performance measures from the previous fiscal year. The goal and headline performance measures vary from one Judy Center to another and reflect the uniqueness of the needs of the populations they serve.
An overview of all Judy Centers is compiled each year and continues to demonstrate impressive results when comparing the school readiness results of entering kindergartners who had at least one year of Judy Center experience with their kindergarten peers who did not have the advantage of the Judy Center experience. What is also impressive is the success of children who had Judy Center experience before entering kindergarten when compared with all kindergartners entering Maryland schools.
In the past, the Maryland Model for School Readiness included kindergarten readiness assessment. Fall 2013 was the last year Maryland used that assessment. The data shows that 83 percent of Maryland’s kindergartners were fully ready for school; the same percentage as entering kindergartners who had prior Judy Center experience. This compares to 80 percent of kindergartners who entered with their Judy Center peers but who did not have the Judy Center experience themselves. Figure B shows that for four of five years, children with Judy Center experience exceeded or were at the same level of readiness as the total of kindergartners statewide, while children who entered kindergarten at Judy Center locations with no prior Judy Center experience have been consistently less ready than their peers and other kindergartners statewide.
Children with Judy Center experience have enjoyed this success even though Judy Centers serve a much higher percentage of children who are receiving special services than the general population. Special services include free and reduced price meals, Special Education or English Language Learners, or a combination. As shown in Figure C, statewide, 57 percent of children entering kindergarten receive special services, while 78 percent of Judy Center kindergartners receive special services.
In Fall 2014, Maryland began administering the new Kindergarten Readiness Assessment. Forty-seven percent of Maryland's kindergarteners were demonstrating readiness for kindergarten. Of the children who entered kindergarten at Judy Center locations with no prior Judy Center experience only 36 percent were demonstrating readiness.(See Figure D.)
While children with Judy Center experience are trailing behind Maryland's kindergartners, this data is impressive. Figure E shows that 81 percent of the children with Judy Center experience were in one or more of the three subgroups described abover while 46 percent of Maryland's kindergarteners where in one or more of the three subgroups.
The success of Judy Centers is gaining national recognition. For example, the Full-Service Community Schools Act of 2014, a bill co-sponsored by House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) and Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL), proposed taking the Judy Center principles nationwide including them in full-service community schools at the K-12 level. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Children and Families, has held hearings on the importance of early childhood education, and has visited Judy Centers throughout the state.
Arne Duncan, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education visited the Charles County Judy Center, and on another outing, he and Kathleen Sebelius, former Secretary of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, visited the Judy Center at Rolling Terrace Elementary School in Montgomery County. To further his preschool initiative, President Barack Obama visited the Baltimore City Judy Center at Moravia Park Elementary School with Congressman Steny Hoyer.