The CLASS tool encourages all stakeholders to focus on educator-child interactions in their evaluation process. Both program leaders and educators should have an understanding of effective interactions and how to gauge them within various classroom settings. But simply collecting data is not enough. There should also be a plan for assessing measurements and using this information to inspire improvement.

Using the observational data collected through CLASS for CQI involves three action items:

  1. Intentionally analyze and interpret data
  2. Set clear and specific improvement goals
  3. Develop detailed action plans

The latest webinar from Teachstone discussed these action items, as detailed in the new CLASS Implementation Guide. Presenters, Gina Gates and Nicole Allen, also highlighted how these plans looked in action within the Texas Rising Star program in Tarrant County, Texas.

Let’s dig into the steps.

1. Intentional data analysis and interpretation

Many types of data can inform progress and set the future path, from formal CLASS assessments at the beginning and end of the school year to frequent, informal assessments with a more targeted focus. Data gathered outside the CLASS tool, such as surveys on teacher morale, teacher assessments, and anecdotal information, are also useful for this analysis.

Patterns may emerge, such as times of day that are more effective or instructional topics that promote the most interaction. Trends could also exist within your classroom or across other classrooms and teachers. The key is not the data itself but using it to identify strengths and what is going well. This information pinpoints the specific areas that need improvement, which can also improve your interactions elsewhere.


2. Clear goal setting

Data is not much help if there is no process for using it for improvement. Setting clear goals and securing everyone’s buy-in are critical. Collaborative goals increase commitment, as does keeping these goals specific and achievable. Your reflection on the process along the way will make these efforts more likely to succeed. Consider asking your implementation team questions like:

  • What results do you want to see after providing professional development?
  • How will you know if you achieved your goal?
  • How can you measure steps toward your goal along the way?


3. Detailed action plan development

It’s important to be specific and flexible in how your action plans are laid out. One way to narrow the focus is to ask how and why questions such as those detailed in the Action Plan Template within the CLASS Implementation Guide. Using this tool will help you think through the specifics of the professional development that you need to provide your team. Should it be online or in-person? How often should it be offered? Is it independent or group-focused?

This critical first step allows you to define goals and set priorities collaboratively while keeping your action plans clear and achievable.


A Case Study: Texas Rising Star, Tarrant County district

Texas Rising Star is the approved certification program for childcare providers in Texas, encompassing 28 districts. With the guidance of Nicole Allen, M.Ed., the Tarrant County district used CLASS as the driver for its CQI plan. The first step was to train participants on the value of CLASS, ensuring that everyone, from directors to teachers, was working toward the same objectives. From there, the district implemented a thorough data review, completed goal-setting training, and implemented a CQI plan that established mentoring opportunities based on the latest CLASS scores.

This collaborative effort involved 663 classrooms and nearly 2,000 children. It took about three years to complete but resulted in strong gains in both the fall and spring terms. The willingness to set intentional goals and monitor actions and progress was a key component to its success. Using CLASS to guide CQI led to local system changes and expanded networking opportunities for mentors across the district. These cross-training opportunities further supported educators as gaps became evident in real-time.


Learn More

CLASS is an important component of any CQI system. By evaluating specific areas and gathering data with this tool, you can identify the interactions that need improvement and the areas where you are currently thriving. Focusing on the specific areas that need improvement leads to achievable goals and clearer action plans. Once these areas are addressed, the lessons learned could translate to more improved student interactions, furthering positive educational outcomes.

To learn more about the CLASS tool and how it can help improve your educator-child interactions, connect with a Teachstone Representative. Access the CLASS Implementation Guide at