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 maps 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.
Take heart! For too long, one of the least heartening perspectives on the federal government budget came from early childhood education advocates, who, year in and year out, felt left out of the political dialogue during budget talks. They were either ignored or, worse, the recipients of unwanted attention as federal spending on education was slashed or level-funded as costs increased. However, during a time when we see much division in our country, especially coming out of Washington, D.C., it actually is a bit –just a bit – encouraging to look at early childhood education programs which are garnering more and more bipartisan support.
The statistics around exclusionary discipline practices, like suspension or expulsion, are grim. Kids who get kicked out, especially repeatedly, are often already behind academically, become less engaged in school, and are monumentally more likely to drop out of high school. And while exclusionary discipline affects all students, it’s essential to keep in mind that children of color are suspended and expelled at rates disproportionate to their white peers.
Early childhood folks are a special breed. We know how great an impact our work can have (Perry Preschool Program! Abecedarian! Heckman!), and we’re proud of it. At the same time, we’re aware that when children leave our classrooms, we have no control over the rest of their educational experiences. The fadeout effect—when children’s gains from preschool diminish in elementary school—has shown up in several large studies, including the Head Start Impact Study and a randomized control trial in Tennessee.
We’ve written before about the discipline disparities between children of color and their white peers. (Since that post was published last year, the Department of Education has released updated - but not improved - statistics on the topic.) But discipline is not the only school arena where children from different backgrounds have different experiences. There’s also evidence that racial bias affects teachers’ academic and behavioral expectations, even in early childhood.