Preschools that are highly ranked by state evaluation systems produce outcomes for children that are not significantly better than lower-ranked programs because those systems may be including too many indicators, according to a study released this month in the journal Science.
Researchers wanted to study the connection of student learning to Quality Rating and Improvement Systems, which have been created as a way to evaluate preschools and share those rankings with the public. The federal investment in the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grants, as well as funding from states and foundations, have prompted widespread adoption of these systems, which Education Week explored in an June article. Nearly every state has, or is developing, a QRIS.
But those systems may draw in so many elements that the resulting ranking may end up with a distant connection to teacher-child interactions, which are known to be a strong predictor of how well children do in preschool and afterwards, said Terri J. Sabol, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and the study’s lead author.
Source: Education Week