Variations in Pre-Kindergarten Classroom Quality Ratings across the School Year: Observation Ratings from New York City’s Pre-K for All

Jill Gandhi, C. Cybele Raver, Rachel M. Abenavoli, Pamela A. Morris, Lauren M. Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Many school districts face the empirical challenge of monitoring program quality to assure that all children experience pre-K environments that foster early learning and development. Factors that are exogenous to classrooms (such as evaluation timing) may play a role in estimates of program quality and yet are not fully understood. This paper examines the role of timing in pre-K classroom quality as it was observed in practice by one of the largest school districts in the United States. In the 2015–2016 school year, New York City (NYC) observed 648 of its Pre-K for All programs using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System Pre-K (CLASS), giving each program an overall average classroom quality rating at one time point. Research Findings: A series of OLS regressions indicated that CLASS scores were lower for programs observed in the fall semester in the domains of Emotional Support and Classroom Organization. Emotional Support also demonstrated a pattern of increasing scores by each month within the fall semester, providing evidence for a relationship-building period between teachers and students early in the school year. Practice or Policy: These findings may be informative for school districts and policymakers who consider using CLASS as an accountability tool.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEarly Education and Development
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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