Robert Pianta, PhD, is Co-Founder of Teachstone and Dean of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. Dr. Pianta‘s research and policy interests focus on teacher-student interactions and relationships and their contributions to students’ learning and development. He has authored or co-authored more than 200 articles, 45 chapters, and 10 books and has served as Editor of the Journal of School Psychology. A nationally recognized expert in both early childhood education and K-12 teaching and learning, Dr. Pianta regularly consults with federal agencies, foundations, and universities and was a principal investigator on several major research and training grants totaling over $50 million. He was instrumental in creating both the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) and MyTeachingPartner (MTP) Coaching to help teachers become more effective in the classroom. Dr. Pianta received a BS and an MA in Special Education from the University of Connecticut and a PhD in Psychology from the University of Minnesota. He began his career as a special education teacher and joined the Curry faculty in 1986.
Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRISs) are expanding rapidly across the United States. These systems derive quality standards from the research literature as well as from licensing requirements and general consensus around what high quality programs should include. Most QRISs contain multiple indicators that are often combined in complicated ways to yield an overall “quality” rating or score. Unfortunately, many of the standards and measures have very little evidence backing their importance for children’s learning and development, calling into question whether QRIS systems actually capture quality.