Tag Archives: CLASS

Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS): National Averages and Region V Averages for 2010

I have written a number of posts on the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS). This assessment tool for early childhood education seems to be a hot topic, probably because it is often used in ECE research and because it’s mandated by Head Start (feel free to search my blog by running a search on the homepage for other CLASS blog posts for more information on CLASS, what it can do for you, how it’s used, and the benefits of CLASS).

In this installment though I would like to discuss the 2010 national averages of CLASS and the regional averages for Region V. Region V consists of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. To see the full pdf posted by http://www.ohsai.org click here.

The average CLASS scores for the Nation under the three domains are as follows:

Emotional Support:              5.35

Classroom Organization:     4.74

Instructional Support:         3.36

Region V has the CLASS averages under the three domains are as follows:

Emotional Support:              5.41

Classroom Organization:     4.76

Instructional Support:         3.54

This means that on average, Region V is doing better than the national average on all three domains. Despite the numbers being very close (i.e. Classroom Organization is 4.74 vs 4.76), remember that the smallest difference on a large scale (i.e. 10’s of thousands of children) make a big impact on our overall nation’s education scores. And so Region V should celebrate for being better than the national average! Something to be proud of! However, Illinois and Indiana are below the Regional and the National average for Emotional Support; Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan are below the Regional and National averages for Classroom Organization; and Illinois and Indiana are below the National and Regional averages for Instructional Support.

In other other words, Illinois and Indiana need to up their classroom quality. On the other hand, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin are doing pretty well comparatively.

With that in mind, remember that CLASS scores are out of 7 points on all dimensions (and therefore on all three domains as well). So Instructional Support, for example, as a long way to go before we see the true potential of what excellent Early Childhood Education can accomplish.

Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS): 2011 Region V Averages

I have written several blog posts about the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (feel free to search my blog to read more on CLASS and the what’s, how’s, and why’s of it).

I recently posted the 2010 national averages of CLASS under their three domains. However, today I want to compare Region V’s average scores between 2010 and 2011. Region V consists of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Did Region V make any improvements in CLASS over the course of the year? Did Region V falter and have their classrooms degrade over the three domains of CLASS? Let’s find out.

Last year (2010), Region V did better, on average, on all three dimensions than the National Average, with Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin leading the charge (see early blog post). Click here to see a pdf of how Region V scored on CLASS for 2010 and 2011, beyond what this blog post discusses.

2010’s averages are as follows for Region V:

Region V has the CLASS averages under the three domains are as follows:

Emotional Support:              5.41

Classroom Organization:     4.76

Instructional Support:         3.54

In 2011, Region V scored as follows:

Emotional Support:              5.24

Classroom Organization:     4.86

Instructional Support:         3.20

This means that Region V dropped on both Emotional Support and Instructional Support, while their Classroom Organization increased. Not good. Not good. The swing for Classroom Organization was a pretty good upward swing by increasing by 0.10. That’s huge! Especially when considering the number of classrooms that would have to change in order to increase by a full tenth of a point.

However, Emotional Support dropped by 0.17 and Instructional Support by 0.34. What this means is that Region V is being less sensitive to the children’s needs (i.e. less smiling, fewer praise, possibly more sarcasm or possibly being demeaning to children, etc) while at the same time decreasing what Region V is actually teaching the children (i.e. less verbal responses, less feedback loops, less thinking and conceptualizing by the children, etc).

The caveat to this is that in 2010 their were only 64 grantees that had CLASS completed on them while in 2011 there were 73. It’s hypothetically possible that the scores didn’t go down or up (or maybe they did), but rather that 2011 shows a fuller picture of the kind of education Head Start children are receiving compared to 2010, since there are so many more grantees participating in CLASS in 2011. As it stands, it’s possible that the grantees who were scored last year increased under all three domains, but since 9 more grantees were graded, it’s hypothetically possible that those 9 scored much lower than all of the other grantees and thus dragged down the average. Naturally the opposite of this could be true as well. Only when there is a full picture of all of the grantees or when we can compare the same grantees to the same grantees over time will we truly know if they are improving or not.

 

 

Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) Implementation Guide: Hamre, Goffin, Kraft-Sayre

Hamre, Goffin, Kraft-Sayre created a nice slideshow of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) Implementation Guide. An overview from the index points out that this slide show goes over topics such as: investing in effective teacher-child interactions, the classroom assessment scoring system: an overview, improving teacher-child interactions, evaluation and monitoring, and professional development.

For other blogs on the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS): click here to read a synopsis on CLASS and other early childhood assessment tools, click here to see the breakdown of the CLASS content (the domains and dimensions), click here to read more about Dr Hamre’s work regarding CLASS and academic achievement, or click here to find research that has been published using CLASS as an assessment tool.

Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS): Interventions for Academic Achievement

Bridget K. Hamre (hamre@virginia.edu) at the University of Virginia presented at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Conference a PowerPoint that lays out what the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) can do: namely, assess the classroom quality, while pairing that up with academic achievement for adolescents in high school. She has also given an interview with ScienceWatch on her thoughts on CLASS and on early childhood social science research in general.

Hamre’s PowerPoint provides a lot of nice background information on the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) including topics like CLASS’ scope and alignment, what is CLASS?, CLASS versions, What does CLASS measure?, What are the domains and dimensions of CLASS?, Standardizing CLASS, CLASS Training, Reliability and Validity of CLASS, data on CLASS, alignment with professional development, and an academic intervention using CLASS-S.

For other blogs on the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS): click here to read a synopsis on CLASS and other early childhood assessment tools, click here to see the breakdown of the CLASS content (the domains and dimensions), click here to read about CLASS and how to implement it, or click here to find research that has been published using CLASS as an assessment tool.

Early Childhood Assessment Tools for Preschools

Preschools and early childhood educators across the country and around the globe are looking for better ways to assess their children’s progress. Being able to systematically and objectively assess students, teachers, and the environment are important because they affect the overall quality of the classroom and have been shown to affect child outcomes (as shown in other blogs).

In our classrooms, we commonly use items like child portfolios, growth and development books, anecdotals, and Teaching Strategies Gold (among other things).

Today I want to mention some more formal assessments: that is, the assessments that are more often seen in research (although certainly anecdotals and the like have been used in research). I will briefly mention a few, and then point you in the right direction to where you can glean more information (i.e. off of a companies website).

Classroom Assessment Scoring System(CLASS) “is an observational tool that provides a common lens and language focused on what matters—the classroom interactions that boost student learning. Data from CLASS™ observations are used to support teachers’ unique professional development needs, set school-wide goals, and shape system-wide reform at the local, state, and national levels.” CLASS focuses on effective teaching, helps teachers recognize and understand the power of their interactions with students, aligns with professional development tools, [and] works across age levels and subjects.

Early Literacy Skills Assessment(ELSA) ” is an authentic assessment in the form of a children’s storybook.  It is a generic instrument designed to measure the emerging literacy skills of children attending early childhood programs —  including but not limited to programs using the HighScope educational approach. The ELSA measures the four key principles of early literacy –Comprehension,Phonological  Awareness, Alphabetic Principle, and Concepts About Print.”

Preschool Program Quality Assessment(Preschool PQA) “is a rating instrument designed to evaluate the quality of early childhood programs and identify staff training needs. The Preschool PQA is reliable and valid and is appropriate for use in all center-based early childhood settings, including but not limited to those using the HighScope educational approach.” It assesses key aspects of program quality, reflects research-based and field-tested best practices in early childhood education and care, can be aligned with the Head Start Program Performance Standards, provides reliable, scientifically validated assessment proven in a wide range of early childhood programs and settings, [and] can be used as a basis for program accreditation, reporting, monitoring, and training.”

The HighScope Child Observation Record (COR) “is an observation-based instrument providing systematic assessment of young children’s knowledge and abilities in all areas of development. This authentic instrument can be used by any developmentally based program serving preschool children, not just programs using the HighScope Curriculum. The Preschool COR is used to assess children from the ages of 2½ to 6 years…The COR is an observational tool. Teachers or caregivers spend a few minutes each day writing brief notes (“anecdotes”) that describe significant episodes of young children’s behavior. They record their notes on printed forms or in computer files, and then classify and rate them according to the COR categories, items, and levels.”

Brigance  “The BRIGANCE® Head Start/Early Head Start System helps programs screen children, monitor each child’s progress, plan developmentally appropriate instruction, and ensure that each child is prepared for Kindergarten.”

Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA) “is a nationally normed assessment of within-child protective factors in preschool children aged two to five. Based on resilience theory, this comprehensive system is made up of a 5-step system designed to support early childhood teachers, mental health professionals, and parents in their goal of helping children develop healthy social/emotional skills and reduce challenging behaviors.”

Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) “is a brief behavioural screening questionnaire about 3-16 year olds. It exists in several versions to meet the needs of researchers, clinicians and [educators]. All versions of the SDQ ask about 25 attributes, some positive and others negative.  These 25 items are divided between 5 scales: 1) emotional symptoms (5 items), 2) conduct problems (5 items), 3) hyperactivity/inattention (5 items), 4) peer relationship problems (5 items), and 5) prosocial behaviour (5 items).”

Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL [Psychology Wiki]) “was a parent-report questionnaire on which the child was rated on various behavioral and emotional problems. It was first developed by Thomas M. Achenbach and has been one of the most widely-used standardized measures in child psychology for evaluating maladaptive behavioral and emotional problems in preschool subjects aged 2 to 3 or in subjects between the ages of 4 and 18. It assessed internalizing (i.e., anxious, depressive, and overcontrolled) and externalizing (i.e., aggressive, hyperactive, noncompliant, and undercontrolled) behaviors. Several subareas were measured including social withdrawal, somatic complaints, anxiety and depression, destructive behavior, social problems, thought problems, attention problems, aggressive behavior, and delinquent behaviors.”

Early Language and Literacy Classroom Observation (ELLCO) “Trusted by schools across the country, ELLCO helps build better literacy programs by assessing the quality of both the classroom environment and teachers’ practices. With ELLCO, educators reliably gather the essential data needed for professional development and program improvement that lead to better literacy outcomes for young children.”

There are several Environment Rating Scales that have been developed through University of North Carolina that are commonly used by the varying preschool types:

Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (Revised) [ECERS-R)

Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale (ITERS-R)

Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale (FCCRS-R)

School-Age Care Environment Rating Scale (SACERS)

Please note that the assessment tools I listed are purely because they are the tools I use or have heard of.

For other blogs on the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS): click here to read about implementing CLASS, click here to see the breakdown of the CLASS content (the domains and dimensions), click here to read more about Dr Hamre’s work regarding CLASS and academic achievement, or click here to find research that has been published using CLASS as an assessment tool.

Research on Early Childhood Education and the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS)

The Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) is a popular tool for assessing the quality of classrooms. Moreover, school readiness is a hot issue among early childcare providers, especially Head Start.

Even President Obama has chimed in on the importance of early childhood education with respect to Head Start.

Below are links to some research on early childhood education and the quality of classrooms through different dimensions, especially with respect to the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS). These research findings help show the importance of having quality within preschool classrooms.

Mashburn et al. (2008)

Pianta et al. (2005)

Raver et al. (2008)

Pianta and Hamre (2009)

Pianta (2003)

Gromley Jr, Phillips, and Gayer

For other blogs on the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS): click here to read a synopsis on CLASS and other early childhood assessment tools, click here to see the breakdown of the CLASS content (the domains and dimensions), click here to read more about Dr Hamre’s work regarding CLASS and academic achievement, or click here to read about how to implement CLASS.

Early Childhood Education: Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS): The Domains and Dimensions

In order to ensure quality and develop an objective standard, or as objective as you can be with a semi-subjective tool, Head Start uses the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS). CLASS has been shown to be a valid and reliable tool.

CLASS may be used from preschool through High School and there is an a very similar tool that just came out for children under 3 years of age. CLASS is an observational tool that is used to assess teacher-child interactions using a 7-item Likert Scale (1-2 is low, 3-5 is medium, 6-7 is high). The observer completes four 20 minute observations and after each 20 minute observation, takes about 10 minutes to score the observations ([20 min observation + 10 minutes coding] * 4 = 2 hours to complete one CLASS score).  CLASS is divided into three domains and seven dimensions, at least in reference to using CLASS for young children.

The three domains are Emotional Support, Classroom Organization, and Instructional Support.

Emotion Support has four dimensions:

  • Positive Climate
  • Negative Climate
  • Teacher Sensitivity
  • Regard for Student Perspectives

Classroom Organization has three dimensions:

  • Behavior Management
  • Productivity
  • Instructional Learning Format

Instructional Support has three dimensions:

  • Concept Development
  • Quality of Feedback
  • Language Modeling

Once children reach school, there is a fourth dimension: Literacy Focus.

For other blogs on the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS): click here to read a synopsis on CLASS and other early childhood assessment tools, click here to read about implementing CLASS, click here to read more about Dr Hamre’s work regarding CLASS and academic achievement, or click here to find research that has been published using CLASS as an assessment tool.