Incremental growth matters!
As anyone who has been to a CLASS training can attest, we are all about incremental growth, resisting the urge to promise a “quick-fix.” But, it can be hard to resist the urge to promise overnight changes, even though many indications point to slow, steady improvement being more likely to lead to lasting change.
The growth of state adoption of Quality Rating Improvement Systems (QRIS) has been slowly increasing, as seen in the above map above showing the vast majority of states now having a statewide QRIS, and the remaining ones having QRIS based in their counties, localities, or regions, or are in the planning phase of QRIS adoption. Additionally, the territories Puerto Rico, Guam, and American Samoa are in the process of planning their QRIS, while the Virgin Islands’ QRIS is in the pilot phase.
Likewise, inclusion of the CLASS for either evaluation and/or professional development in QRIS is growing, too, with our new QRIS map (below):
You can see that this map shows that:
Here are highlights of the changes since we created our first map in 2014:
In 2013, the state of Alaska allocated funds to manage the development and implementation of their QRIS, revising the original Alaska 2008 QRIS plan. Recently, as part of their three-year renewal grant requirements, teachers who are Alaska pre-elementary program grantees must participate in the MyTeachingPartner (MTP) Coaching Project. This is part of an overall effort to improve interactions between teachers and students. The CLASS is being used for both observation and professional development, specifically, MTP Coaching.
Lastly, and importantly, the new Head Start Program Performance Standards include in Sec. 1302.53 a requirement, with the exception of American Indian and Alaska Native programs, that a Head Start grantee must participate in its state or local QRIS, if
Please let us know how your state is implementing its QRIS and what support you need to ensure that effective interactions are recognized as a key characteristic of quality in all early childhood programs serving children from birth to grade 3 or beyond. Here’s a link to our map. We hope we can add your state in the growth pathway of CLASS adoption.
Nicole Hsu, research and pulbic policy intern at Teachstone, is a Bay Area native in her third year at UC Berkeley. She studies Cognitive Science and Disability Studies, and is passionate about supporting youth and improving the state of education through policy, research, and community engagement. Aside from her love for kids and education, Nicole enjoys eating ice cream, traveling, and learning French.
As the former Vice President of Education and Program Operations, as well as the Head Start/Early Head Start Program Director, of a large Chicago Agency, I am often asked the question, “How did you get your CLASS scores to rise so much?” Our Pre-K Instructional Support scores rose from a 2.65 to a 3.74 the first year, and from a 3.74 to a 4.17 the second year. It wasn’t an easy process. And it was up to us to show our teachers the importance of teacher-student interactions and slowly introduce how CLASS scores could be used to improve these interactions.
Below are three steps we took to introduce the importance of CLASS and interactions to our teachers and, ultimately, raise our CLASS scores.
When my first child was born, I was 30. I was also married, had a master’s degree, and taught in a district that paid pretty well. During my pregnancy, I learned what to look for in high-quality child care and I thought I knew how to find it. What I didn’t know was that even though my husband and I both worked, we couldn’t afford quality child care.
A year ago, urged on by my insightful new colleague, Manda Klein, who was born and raised in Texas, I wrote a blog entitled, At Our Core. It praised the bipartisan efforts to discontinue the practice of separating children from their parents and caregivers at our country’s borders.