Our Approach

Measures of Success

Driving the NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading initiative is the foundational belief that together we can realize greater outcomes for young children than any of us can produce on our own. Our first step together was to define North Carolina’s Pathways to Grade-Level Reading. What are the whole-child, birth-to-eight Measures of Success that put children on a pathway to grade-level reading?

The Measures of Success Framework was developed by a Data Action Team – composed of 30 experts from North Carolina’s leading universities, research institutes, government agencies, businesses and think tanks – in partnership with the Pathways to Grade-Level Reading stakeholders. That Framework serves as the foundation, with the understanding that Pathways is iterative.

The work of the Learning Teams – making sense of the trends, inequities, patterns and connections in the NC data – has driven an evolution of the Measures of Success Framework.

  • Health and Development on Track, Beginning at Birth,
  • Supported and Supportive Families and Communities
  • High Quality Birth-to-Eight Early Learning Environments
  • Regular Attendance in Attendance at Early Learning Programs and School


Measures of Success Fact Sheet

Research Basis for Pathways’ Measures of Success 

Pathways Measures – What Data is Available?


What do we know?

This document highlights what data is available in North Carolina on these measures and what data is not. Many key measures for young children on the pathway to early literacy are not collected and/or analyzed and made available to the public. Part of the Pathways mission is to improve the collection and sharing of these critical measures of success.

How did we get here?

November 13, 2015. Stakeholders consider this question: Imagine it’s 2025 and we’ve made significant progress in each of the goal areas. A list of outcomes that emerged is outlined in the Meeting Summary Report.

December 14, 2015.  Stakeholders were asked to provide input via email to a consolidated list of five to six outcomes per goal area. The work of the Data Action Team will be to fill in the data indicators – the measures of success – that move the needle on those outcomes. The input received is compiled here.

January 8, 2015. Based on research and stakeholder input, we have revised the list of Goals and Outcomes. These Goals and Outcomes will provide the structure for the Data Action Team’s work to develop priority Measures of Success. In addition, after receiving feedback from stakeholders and reviewing additional research, we made the decision to combine the original Goals 3 and 4 (“High quality early care and education” and “Effective teaching in K-3 classrooms”) into one Goal, “High Quality Birth to Eight Early Learning and Education.” This change was prompted by several factors, including:

  • Respecting the birth-to-8 continuum within each Goal. Stakeholders felt it should be clear that each Goal is critical during the entire birth-through-8 continuum. Combining the two education goals clarifies that point.
  • Breaking down silos. We talked a lot at the Stakeholder meeting in November about the need to break down silos, encourage cross-sector work and ease transitions for children and families among different parts of our birth-through-eight early childhood system. Combining the two education goals helps to reinforce that approach.
  • Avoiding repetition. Many (though not all) of the Outcomes for Early Learning and K-3 Education are the same – for example, we need educators to be supported, we need children to attend school consistently and we need safe environments for learning in both areas.

March and April 2016. The Data Action Team requests input from the Stakeholder group. Stakeholders are asked to rank the measures for each outcome based on the following criteria.

  • Research-based. Connected clearly through research to the top-line result (third-grade reading proficiency).
  • Actionable. Is something that can be reasonably affected through state or local legislation; policy, program or practice change; or community action.
  • Impactful. Will positively impact the lives of a substantial number of NC children and families.
  • Easily Communicated. Can be easily understood by parents, policymakers and other key stakeholders.
  • Equalizing. Will reduce gaps and inequities that currently exists among NC populations.

A list of the measures to be considered can be dowloaded here.

May 2016. More than 90 attendees representing government agencies, nonprofit organizations, the private sector, foundations, research institutions and members of the General Assembly came together to review measures. Materials presented at the meeting and a summary report can be found here.

June 2016. The Data Action Team reviews stakeholder input and finalizes the Measures of Success. An explanation of the changes made based on stakeholder input is available here. At the May 20 meeting, stakeholders also were asked to identify targets and levers of change for a state-level collaborative to make progress on the Measures of Success. The Pathways Planning team synthesized stakeholder responses to develop the initiative’s Theory of Change.

September – December 2016. Learning Teams work to make sense of the trends, inequities, patterns and connections in the NC data. Their process drives an evolution of the Measures of Success Framework.