EEC Board MeetingJune 11, 2013 Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) Review of Standards Removal Board Vote Feb 12, 2013
Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) Massachusetts has developed high quality benchmarks, which are aligned with state early childhood standards (MA Early Learning Guidelines for Infants & Toddlers, Preschool Learning Guidelines and the Pre-K Common Core of the MA Curriculum Frameworks), as well as some Head Start, National Association of Educating Young Children accreditation, and other early learning and development standards.
There are five categories in QRIS:1.) Curriculum and Learning a. Curriculum, Assessment and Diversity b. Teacher/Child Relationships and Interactions2.) Safe, Healthy Indoor and Outdoor Environments3.) Workforce Qualifications and Professional Development a. Designated Program Administrator Qualifications and Professional Development b. Program Staff Qualifications and Professional Development4.) Family and Community Engagement5.) Leadership, Management and Administration QRIS is a Comprehensive Assessmentthat Encompasses All Programmatic Aspects
Three Different Program Types The five categories and two sub-categories remain consistent , however the individual standards have been adapted for effectiveness in three different program types: • Center-Based and School Based (CBSB) • Family Child Care (FCC) • After School and Out of School Time Programs (ASOST)
Development of the QRIS Standards • Was a Community Effort • 2008: • EEC began conducting early research to set the stage for the design of the MA QRIS. • EEC received guidance from EEC Board and EEC Advisory Team (February - March 2008) • Initial QRIS stakeholder team developed the scope, purpose and mission of MA QRIS. Evolved into MA QRIS • 2009: • ASOST Stakeholders Group convened • Draft posted for public input- 377 survey respondents (March -June 2009 ) • EEC conducted presentations to over 900 members of the field about QRIS • EEC reconvened the QRIS External Stakeholder team (June 2009) • Initial QRIS Standards were reviewed and revised – evidence based and measurable (November 2009 – January 2010) • Feedback gathered from stakeholders at events with The CAYL Institute (December 16, 2009)
2010 : Feedback provided on QRIS Standards at Advisory Team Meeting & Stakeholders Meeting (January 2010) EDC hired to review and streamline standards (reduce duplication, remove criteria with no research base) 2012: Pilot for the QRIS Validation Study begins Environmental Rating Scales (ERS) observation visits begin for 426 self-assessed Level 3 and 4 programs
Recent QRIS Successes • Six Program Quality Specialists were hired and trained on the Quality Rating and Improvement System • Pilot for the QRIS Validation Study started • FY13 QRIS Improvement Grants were awarded for durable goods and program planning • Many Center-Based and School Based, Family Child Care, and After School and Out of School Time programs sharing with PQS that they have been reflectively reviewing their program practices in a more comprehensive and thoughtful manner • Programs have become more familiar with the use of research-based measurement tools • Pilot study is in development with NAEYC to reduce duplication of effort by accredited Center-Based programs • Work has started on a more user-friendly version of the QRIS Program Manager (on-line application system) • Communication and collaboration with national organizations has improved • Approval granted to reassess RTT benchmarks • Coordination of QRIS and QRIS related programs will be managed within the EEC Policy Department
Program Quality Specialists and Education Specialists Support QRIS In collaboration, EEC staff has: • Reviewed over 1,400 QRIS applications between October 1, 2012 and May 1, 2013 • Verified over 700 Level 2 applications between October 1, 2012 and May 1, 2013 • Completed approximately 200 site visits • Facilitated QRIS Training Sessions throughout the state • Provided daily QRIS support via the telephone and email • Created resources for QRIS users • Presented QRIS information at dozens of early education venues throughout the state to educators, administrators and stakeholders • Held monthly TA with EPS Coaches/Mentors working with programs on QRIS
Quality Rating and Improvement System Program Engagement Since the launch of the on-line, QRIS Program Manager (QPM) in January 2011 5,149 programs (unique count) have created a total of 6,704 QRIS applications (final status) using the QPM system. 5,571 of those applications have been granted a QRIS Level. (Data as of May 3, 2013). Additional QRIS Data: There are 363 Programs that have participated in QRIS that have since closed for business. Note: Metro (region 4) has been dissolved and towns have been reallocated to regions 2, 3, 5 and 6.
BACKGROUND ON STANDARDS REMOVAL In 2012, EEC contracted with University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute (UMDI) to conduct the QRIS Validation Study. UMDI provided EEC with a measurement map of standards to be included and excluded in the QRIS Validation Study. CLARIFICATION The UMDI research team did make recommendations to include and exclude some standards in the QRIS Validation Study. The UMDI research team did not suggest that any standards be removed from the Massachusetts QRIS.
QRIS Standards Removed On February 12, 2013, the EEC Board voted to “remove” QRIS standards from the system. EEC would like the Board to consider new information about this decision, and rescind the February vote.The three reasons for removal were:1.) Already measured in an evidenced based tool used in QRIS2.) Not linked to child outcomes 3.) Not measurable
Implementation of the standards removal, based on the Board vote, has not been consistently implemented to date. The QRIS standards resource document for educators has been modified to note the Board vote on February 12, 2013.
The QRIS Program Manager (the on-line application system) does not yet support the standards removal Board vote.
BACKGROUND ON REMOVAL of standards measured elsewhere The standards proposed to be removed are either measured elsewhere through evidence based tools, or are currently collected data (i.e. PQ Registry, BAS, PAS). JUSTIFICATION FOR KEEPING IN QRIS The QRIS Standards form the foundation of QRIS, not the measurement tools. If EEC decides in the future to change the measurement tools, the standards could be lost. The value of the measurement tools should not supersede the standards.
BACKGROUND ON REMOVAL of standards that do not have a link to child outcomes or are not measurable Some standards have no link to child outcomes thus it is unclear of their connection to quality, while other standards are not measurable. Reasons for these two categories may include: Some of the standards - are considered vague have compound criteria are a simple yes/no measure JUSTIFICATION FOR KEEPING IN QRIS These standards may still have value in the QRIS system with revisions.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR REVISIONS TO QRIS STANDARDS Changes to the QRIS should be done thoughtfully and be informed by: • Data from the QRIS Validation Study (UMDI) • Data from the Reliable Rater visits (Wellesley College) • Feedback from the field, stakeholders and community • Best practices shared with other QRIS states • Input from Program Quality Specialists and other EEC staff whom support QRIS • Contributions from the EEC Board
Resources Standards Removal Documents: http://www.eec.state.ma.us/docs1/board-materials/20130212-qris-background-discussion.pdf http://www.eec.state.ma.us/2013/20130212-qris-standards-removal.pdf QRIS Resource Tools for Educators: http://www.mass.gov/edu/birth-grade-12/early-education-and-care/qris/massachusetts-qris-standards.html