In 2006, as the Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids (SPARK) Initiative began focusing on ready schools, the SPARK Initiative Level Evaluation (ILE) Team at WRMA sought to develop a framework for describing ready schools. The team considered several models from experts in the fields of early care and education and elementary education, other relevant literature, and feedback from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the SPARK Grantees, and other resource organizations. This framework was then tested and revised on the ground by visiting four model schools in diverse communities in the cities of Albuquerque, Cleveland, and Decatur, Georgia; as well as the states of Hawaii, Mississippi, and New Mexico. The result was a document titled “Pathways to Ready Schools”.
The North Carolina Ready Schools Task Force completed its initial work in January 2007 with a recommendation to the State Board of Education that it endorse the findings in “Pathways to Ready Schools” as the state definition of a ready school. The Task Force further recommended that every elementary school develop an action plan to implement “Pathways” by 2011.
The Kellogg Foundation’s Vice President of Youth and Education also included the “pathways” in his testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance on March 20, 2007. The hearing was titled “Realizing a Competitive Education: Identifying Needs, Partnerships and Resources”, and the pathways were included with the key learnings from SPARK.