H.R.791 – Continuum of Learning Act of 2013

Continuum of Learning Act of 2013 – Amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to coordinate school improvement and professional development activities with early childhood development and education programs.

Amends the school improvement program under part A of title I of the ESEA to require states to create or revise early learning guidelines for preschool age children and early learning standards for children in kindergarten through grade three.

Requires the guidelines and standards to be developmentally appropriate and cover all domains of child development and learning.

Requires states to encourage local educational agencies (LEAs) and elementary schools to use school improvement funds to offer early childhood education programs in schools and other settings from birth to the age of mandatory school entry.

Requires LEAs to: (1) assist their elementary schools in conducting a ready school needs review, at least once every three years, that is used to create a school environment that supports children’s transition to school and achievement of state and grade level expectations; (2) ensure, to the extent feasible, starting with the 2015-2016 school year, that teachers placed in the early elementary school grades have a specialized early childhood education teaching license, credential, or endorsement; and (3) work with early childhood education programs to establish a continuity of curricular objectives and developmental expectations that support children’s transition to school.

Limits the use of child assessments for children from birth through grade two.

Amends part A (Teacher and Principal Training and Recruiting Fund) of title II of the ESEA to require states to incorporate knowledge regarding early childhood development and learning into teacher and principal certification or licensing requirements.

Requires professional development activities to include: (1) training in early child development and learning, and (2) joint training for elementary school staff and early childhood education program staff.