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.
Regardless of the various journeys we take or paths we find ourselves on when we discover CLASS, we all believe in the power of interactions to change children’s lives. While our focus is on classrooms (broadly defined), as educators and passionate education advocates we believe in the right of all children to experience nurturing interactions, both inside and outside any classroom walls.
While preparing for a recent presentation on "My CLASS Philosophy," I had many thoughts running through my head. There was no firm agenda that I was asked to follow, just to share my philosophy. Coming from a business background, I did what I have been trained to do—a SWOT Analysis. According to Wikipedia, a SWOT Analysis or SWOT matrix is:
All across the world, researchers and educators are working on ways to help students learn. Some are small tweaks or classroom “lifehacks.” Some are big, expensive programs with huge ambitions. Some (like CLASS!) are paradigms about learning. When something works, you want it to be accessible to other practitioners. The problem is, many of the programs that are most effective also take a lot of time, money, or resources.
Most people I know who are invested in early childhood education look at Barack Obama’s 2013 State of the Union address as an important moment. In it, Obama called on the federal government and states to work together to “make high-quality preschool available to every child in America,” and talked about the economic and social impact of such policies. I teared up when I rewatched this speech. It’s powerful stuff. As it so often does, the conversation about early childhood education and care revolved around quality.