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The 2012 Pennsylvania Kindergarten Entry Inventory pilot
Pennsylvania. Office of Child Development and Early Learning, May, 2013
Harrisburg: Pennsylvania, Office of Child Development and Early Learning.

As Pennsylvania builds a high-quality and accountable system of early childhood programs, parents, teachers and state administrators have expressed a need for information on the status of children's skills and abilities as they enter kindergarten. This report provides information about the development and pilot of the Pennsylvania Kindergarten Entry Inventory. (author abstract)

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The 2013 Pennsylvania Kindergarten Entry Inventory pilot
Pennsylvania. Office of Child Development and Early Learning, June, 2014
Harrisburg: Pennsylvania, Office of Child Development and Early Learning.

As Pennsylvania builds a high-quality and accountable system of early childhood programs, parents, teachers and state administrators have expressed a need for information on the status of children's skills and abilities as they enter kindergarten. This report provides information about the development and pilot of the Pennsylvania Kindergarten Entry Inventory. (author abstract)

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Aced out: Censorship of qualitative research in the age of "scientifically based research"
Ceglowski, Deborah A., October, 2011
Qualitative Inquiry, 17(8), 679-686

In this manuscript, we examine three layers of censorship related to the publication of qualitative research studies: (a) the global level of federal legislation and the definition of the "gold standard" of educational research, (b) the decline in the number of qualitative studies published in a top-tiered early childhood educational research journal after implementation of the Reading Excellence Act and No Child Left Behind, and (c) a local story of our experience in submitting a qualitative study for review. In the final section, we discuss the implications of these three levels of censorship. (author abstract)

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Agreement between parents and teachers on preschool children's behavior in a clinical sample with externalizing behavioral problems
Korsch, Franziska, October, 2014
Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 45(5), 616-627

An accurate interpretation of information obtained from multiple assessors is indispensible when complex diagnoses of behavioral problems in children need to be confirmed. The present study examined the similarity of parents and kindergarten teachers ratings on children's behavior in a sample of 160 preschool children (a clinical group including 80 children with externalizing behavioral problems and a matched control group including 80 children). Behavioral problems were assessed using the SDQ, and the DISYPS-II questionnaires for ADHD and conduct disorders. The results revealed low levels of parent-teacher agreement for their ratings on the children's behavior in both groups with the highest correlations in the non-clinical sample. Parent-teacher agreement did not differ significantly across the samples. Parent and teacher ratings correlated with the prevalence of externalizing disorders and were found to be almost independent of each other. The results highlight the importance of multiple informants and their independent influence within the diagnostic process. (author abstract)

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Approaches to validating child care quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS): Results from two states with similar QRIS type designs
Lahti, Michel, Q1 2015
Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 30(1), 280-290

In recent years, child care quality rating and improvement systems (QRISs) have become an increasingly popular policy tool to improve quality in early childhood education and care (ECEC) settings and have been adopted in many localities and states. The QRIS proposition is that with higher-quality child care settings, it is more likely that children who attend those high-quality programs will benefit in terms of outcomes like school readiness. However, in order to demonstrate this linkage, QRIS standards and ratings must function as intended, i.e. be valid. This paper presents a framework for validating child care quality improvement standards and processes, along with examples from recent QRIS validation studies in two states. The state examples provide useful data about the strengths and limitations of these validation approaches. We discuss the implications of applying these approaches and provide recommendations to researchers, policy-makers, and program leaders who implement QRIS validation studies. (author abstract)

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Are Headstart gains on the g factor?: A meta-analysis
Nijenhuis, Jan te, September-October 2014
Intelligence, 46(), 209-215

Headstart studies of compensatory education tend to show impressive gains on IQ scores for children from low-quality environments. However, are these gains on the g factor of intelligence? We report a meta-analysis of the correlation between Headstart gains on the subtests of IQ batteries and the g loadings of these same subtests (K = 8 studies, total N = 602). A meta-analytic sample-weighed correlation of -.51 was found, which became -.80 after corrections for measurement error. We conclude that the pattern in Headstart gains on subtests of an IQ battery is highly similar to the pattern in test-retest gains and is hollow with respect to g. So, Headstart leads to gains in IQ scores, but not to gains in g. We discuss this finding in relation to the Flynn effect, training effects, and heritability. (author abstract)

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Assessing the Implementation and Cost of High Quality Early Care and Education (ECE-ICHQ)
Kirby, Gretchen, 2014
Mathematica Policy Research

Growing evidence about the benefits of high quality care for young children, particularly low-income children, has garnered a strong commitment at both the federal and state levels to improve the quality of early care and education (ECE) programs. Yet, in an environment of competing demands and limited resources, policymakers, administrators, and other key stakeholders lack the information needed to effectively target funds to increase quality in ECE. The existing research base about the association between the costs and quality of ECE is not sufficient to inform these decisions. The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), has launched the Assessing the Implementation and Cost of High-Quality ECE (ECE-ICHQ) project. The goal of the project is to create a technically sound, feasible, and useful instrument that will provide consistent and systematic measures of the implementation and costs of quality to help fill the knowledge gap about the cost of providing and improving quality in ECE. The unique contribution of the project is its focus on documenting implementation by using an implementation science lens (parsing out context and implementation inputs and activities) to identify the cost ingredients of quality and to measure differences in implementation and context that may matter to costs.

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Assessing quality in toddler classrooms using the CLASS-Toddler and the ITERS-R
La Paro, Karen M., August, 2014
Early Education and Development, 25(6), 875-893

Many very young children attend early care and education programs, but current information about the quality of center-based care for toddlers is scarce. Using 2 observation instruments, the Infant-Toddler Environment Rating Scale-Revised (ITERS-R) and the Classroom Assessment Scoring System, Toddler Version (CLASS-Toddler), 93 child care classrooms for toddlers across the state of North Carolina, representing a range of quality, were assessed to determine overall quality, and associations between observed quality and teachers' ratings of child behavior problems and competence outcomes using the Brief Infant Toddler Social Emotional Assessment. Research Findings: Findings indicated that overall, toddler classrooms were rated as being of moderate quality. Associations between observed quality and teacher-reported child behavior problems and competence outcomes indicated that CLASS-Toddler ratings were positively associated with fewer behavior problems; specifically, children in classrooms with higher levels on the CLASS-Toddler domains of Emotional and Behavioral Support as well as Engaged Support for Learning were reported to have fewer behavior problems. Similarly, the ITERS-R subscales of Interaction and Listening and Talking were positively related to fewer reported behavior problems. Regression models showed that the CLASS-Toddler Emotional and Behavioral Support domain predicted differences in child behavior problems. (author abstract)

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Assessing social competence and behavior problems in a sample of Italian preschoolers using the Social Competence and Behavior Evaluation scale
Sette, Stefania, January, 2015
Early Education and Development, 26(1), 46-65

The main goals of this study were to examine the factor validity of the Social Competence and Behavior Evaluation (SCBE-30) scale using exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis and to test factor invariance across gender in a sample of Italian preschool-age children (241 boys, 252 girls). The concurrent validity of the SCBE scale was examined with measures of children's popularity and rejection. Our findings replicated a 3-factor model of the SCBE scale found in other studies with 3 correlated factors of social competence, anger-aggression, and anxiety-withdrawal. Multigroup confirmatory factor analyses provided evidence of configural, metric, and partial scalar invariance of the scale across gender. Popularity was positively related to children's social competence and negatively related to anxiety-withdrawal. Rejection was positively related to children's anger-aggression and anxiety-withdrawal and negatively related to social competence. Practice or Policy: The use of the SCBE scale in the Italian educational setting may help teachers understand children's emotional and social competencies and thereby improve social adjustment in the classroom. (author abstract)

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Assessing teachers' skills in detecting and identifying effective interactions in the classroom: Theory and measurement
Jamil, Faiza M., March, 2015
Elementary School Journal, 115(3), 407-432

Contemporary education reforms focus on assessing teachers' performance and developing selection mechanisms for hiring effective teachers. Tools that enable the prediction of teachers' classroom performance promote schools' ability to hire teachers more likely to be successful in the classroom. In addition, these assessment tools can be used for teacher training and preparation that contributes to improved student performance. This article summarizes the theoretical and empirical support for a direct assessment of teachers' skill in detecting and identifying effective classroom interactions--the Video Assessment of Interaction and Learning (VAIL). Findings from a study of 270 preschool teachers suggest that the VAIL reliably measures teachers' interaction detection and identification skills. Teachers who can accurately detect effective interactions on video exemplars tend to have more years of education and display more effective interactions with the students in their classroom. Findings are discussed in terms of the implications for teacher selection, preparation, and training. (author abstract)

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Assessment in early childhood: Instruction-focused strategies to support response-to-intervention frameworks
Snyder, Patricia A., December, 2008
Assessment for Effective Intervention, 34(1), 25-34

The current emphasis on alignment of early learning guidelines, assessment, curricular practices, and accountability in early education and care systems has provided an opportunity to revisit and refine early childhood assessment practices. Practitioners, researchers, and policy makers are increasingly interested in developing instruction-focused assessment strategies that have instructional and intervention validity. In particular, progress is being made in the development and validation of universal screening assessments and progress-monitoring methods that can support the application of response-to-intervention models in early childhood settings. This article provides a brief review of select assessment tools in early childhood that demonstrate instructional validity. The authors suggest future directions for strengthening the instructional and intervention validity of early childhood assessments in the context of response-to-intervention frameworks. (author abstract)

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Benchmarks for Quality Improvement Self-Assessment Tool
National Center on Child Care Quality Improvement, January, 2015
Fairfax, VA: National Center on Child Care Quality Improvement.

The Benchmarks for Quality Improvement (BQI) were developed by the Office of Child Care (OCC) to support your planning and implementation of early learning quality improvement systems. OCC recognizes that States and Territories are using quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS) as a framework for organizing, guiding, and gauging the progress of quality initiatives. Therefore, this self-assessment tool is organized around the five elements of a QRIS: 1. Program Standards, 2. Supports for Programs and Practitioners, 3. Financial Incentives, 4. Quality Assurance and Monitoring, and 5. Consumer Education. The purpose of the BQI Self-Assessment Tool is to help you assess your current status and measure your progress in implementing program quality improvement systems. It is our hope that this tool will assist you in identifying areas that you would prioritize for moving forward. (author abstract)

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The brainification of early childhood education and other challenges to academic rigour
Vandenbroeck, Michel, February, 2014
European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 22(1), 1-3

This commentary touches upon several controversial issues encountered in the publication of early childhood research. The author identifies the following general challenges: the conflicts of interested faced by researchers affiliated with programs they are researching, the bias unwittingly caused by the "publish-or-perish" imperative, and the preference for new research over verification research. The author then discusses several controversies related specifically to early childhood policymakers' use of knowledge from the field of Neuroscience, specifically on the topic of brain pliability. He identifies challenges to the claims of neuroscience researchers that educational interventions delivered before children's brains are fully formed are more cost-effective than interventions provided after this developmental phase. The commentary also outlines several steps the European Early Childhood Education Research Journal is taking to increase the rigor of articles it puslishes.

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"Censorship", Early Childhood Research Quarterly and qualitative research: Not so much aced out as an own goal?
Chattoe-Brown, Edmund, Q2 2015
Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 31(2), 163-171

As its starting point, this article investigates claims published in Qualitative Inquiry by Ceglowski, Bacigalupa, and Peck (2011) that Early Childhood Research Quarterly censored qualitative research. Unfortunately they assert rather than demonstrate political bias against qualitative research, fail to show that its publication in Early Childhood Research Quarterly has actually declined and ignore alternate hypotheses compatible with their data. After breaking their argument into parts, I find their censorship claims completely unsupported by evidence. However, this article has two larger aims. The first is to show how mistaking hypotheses for evidence, arguing unconvincingly from quantitative data, and failing to consider alternative interpretations of evidence weaken qualitative research, lowering its credibility within social science. The second is to consider the wider academic ramifications of publishing a peer-reviewed journal article that totally fails to support its claims. Based on these concerns, the article offers some practical advice to avoid the negative outcomes demonstrated by the publication of Ceglowski, Bacigalupa, and Peck and considers the scientific implications of this rebuttal to their claims having been rejected previously by Qualitative Inquiry. (author abstract)

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Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey 2013: Survey materials
Brind, Richard, September, 2014
Manchester, United Kingdom: Great Britain, Department for Education.

These survey materials were used to conduct the 2013 Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey, a study of child care and early years providers and the workforce in England.

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Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey 2013: Technical report
Brind, Richard, September, 2014
Manchester, United Kingdom: Great Britain, Department for Education.

In order to inform policy development, the Government needs reliable information on the key characteristics of provision in the early years and childcare sector. Robust information on the workforce, the providers operating in the sector and the number of children attending are vital inputs to the policy decision making process. The Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey provides a very broad range of measures that help to address information needs in these areas. In addition to the Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey conducted in 2013, the Department for Education (DfE) and its predecessor departments also commissioned earlier waves of this survey. As such, the Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey began in 1998 and was repeated in 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The 2013 research, which is the focus of this report, consisted of surveys amongst the ten following types of settings: Full-day childcare; Sessional childcare; Children's centres (focusing primarily on full-day care and which are a sub-set of full-day care as a whole); Before school care; After school care; Holiday care; Childminders; Primary schools with nursery and reception classes; Primary schools with reception but no nursery classes; Nursery schools. (author abstract)

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Children, mathematics, and videotape: Using multimodal analysis to bring bodies into early childhood assessment interviews
Parks, Amy Noelle, June, 2014
American Educational Research Journal, 51(3), 505-537

Despite the increased use of video for data collection, most research using assessment interviews in early childhood education relies solely upon the analysis of linguistic data, ignoring children's bodies. This trend is particularly troubling in studies of marginalized children because transcripts limited to language can make it difficult to analyze embodied power relations between majority researchers and minority children. This article responds to this problem by outlining a theoretical position on power and bodies, describing multimodal analysis strategies, and using these strategies to analyze the subject positions available during a mathematical assessment interview for three African American preschool child-participants and the European American adult researcher. This study draws attention to the complexity of human interactions during assessment interviews by describing the ways children positioned themselves as willing (or not), attentive (or not), and competent (or not) as well as describing the ways the researcher sought to position herself. (author abstract)

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Children's Progress Academic Assessment
Children's Progress, 2010
New York: Children's Progress

Instruments


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Chinese Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (trial) (CECERS): A validity study
Li, Kejian, Q3 2014
Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 29(3), 268-282

The Chinese Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (trial) (CECERS) is a new instrument for measuring early childhood program quality in the Chinese socio-cultural contexts, based on substantial adaptation from the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Revised Edition (ECERS-R). This paper describes the development and validation process of CECERS. Empirical data were collected from a stratified random sample 178 classrooms, from which a random sample of 1012 children was measured for child development outcomes. Guided by the framework of broad conceptualization of validity and validation as advocated by Messick (1989), evidence in a variety of forms is presented and discussed, including content validity considerations (e.g., measuring socially and culturally relevant domains), measurement reliability considerations (e.g., internal consistency reliability, inter-rater reliability), and measurement validity considerations (concurrent validity, criterion-related validity, internal structure based on exploratory factor analysis). The empirical findings for CECERS compare very favorably with the validation outcomes of ECERS-R. The body of evidence accumulated in the validation process supports the use and interpretation of CECERS scores as quality indicators of early childhood education program in the Chinese social and cultural contexts. Limitations and future directions are also discussed. (author abstract)

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CLASS-Infant: An observational measure for assessing teacher-infant interactions in center-based child care
Jamison, Kristen Roorbach, May, 2014
Early Education and Development, 25(4), 553-572

The growing body of literature demonstrating the importance of quality interactions with caregivers to infant development coupled with the increasing number of infants spending time in classroom settings highlights the need for a measure of interpersonal relationships between infants and caregivers. This article introduces a new measure of quality in infant classrooms based on the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) framework. This measure focuses on teacher-infant interactions with the goal of understanding how these proximal process features can be assessed in this environment. Results from a small pilot study of 30 infant classrooms indicated that the CLASS-Infant demonstrated adequate variability as well as expected convergent and divergent validity with the most commonly used infant child care quality measure. The dimensions of the measure composed a single construct of classroom quality based on teacher-infant interactions. Practice or Policy: Implications of using this measure as an assessment of center-based infant classroom quality and improving professional development are discussed. (author abstract)

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Classroom Literacy Observation Schedule
Louden, William, 2003
Perth, Western Australia, Australia: Edith Cowan University

Instruments


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Comparing apples and oranges: The mismeasurement of young children through the mismatch of assessment purpose and the interpretation of results
Hallam, Rena A., August, 2014
Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 34(2), 106-115

The assessment of young children in early childhood special education is a central area of educational practice. The results of child assessments often have significant implications for young children, their families, and the programs that serve them, including eligibility for special education services, instructional planning, and documentation of child outcomes. The array of early childhood assessment types and purposes can be challenging to disentangle at the practitioner and policy level. At this time, different types of assessment tools (e.g., norm-referenced and criterion-referenced) are being used to document the development and learning of children and little attention has been paid to the parallel information produced from different assessment types. The purpose of this study is to compare the assessment results from two types of developmental instruments commonly used (Assessment, Evaluation, and Programming System Second Edition [AEPS 2nd ed.] and Battelle Developmental Inventory II [BDI-2]) to determine their congruence in determining a child's developmental status (e.g., "on track" or delayed). Results indicate substantive difference between the two measures highlighting the potential for mismeasurement and misinterpretation of child assessment data. Implications for policy and practice are discussed. (author abstract)

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Comparisons among quality measures in child care settings: Understanding the use of multiple measures in North Carolina's QRIS and their links to social-emotional development in preschool children
Hestenes, Linda L., Q1 2015
Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 30(1), 199-214

Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) include the assessment of classroom quality as one component of how early childhood programs are monitored and licensed in many states across the United States. However, varying measures and foci of quality exist and have led to challenges in accurately depicting program quality across programs and improvement efforts. The current validation study explores several measures of classroom quality and their associations with components and overall star ratings of the North Carolina QRIS and preschool children's social-emotional outcomes within center-based child care programs. Data for this study were collected in 2009, 10 years after the start of North Carolina's QRIS. Results indicate that individual levels of star ratings did not generally represent distinctive levels of classroom quality, but did differentiate classrooms at the lower and higher levels of quality. Structural features of the environments such as teacher education and teacher-child ratio were associated with classroom quality across these measures in the expected directions; however, teacher experience was not. Further, children's social-emotional outcomes were predicted to a varying degree by star levels and different aspects of classroom quality as represented by these various measures. Results are discussed in terms of the differing levels of quality and teaching processes in classrooms. Future directions for research are presented to contribute to an increased understanding of QRIS and children' experiences in early care and education programs. (author abstract)

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Construct validity evidence for Bracken School Readiness Assessment, Third Edition, Spanish form scores
Ortiz, Arlene, February, 2015
Psychology in the Schools, 52(2), 208-221

Convergent and discriminant validity evidence was examined for scores on the Spanish Record Form of the Bracken School Readiness Assessment, Third Edition (BSRA-3). Participants included a sample of 68 Hispanic, Spanish-speaking children ages 4 to 5 years enrolled in preschool programs in Puerto Rico. Scores obtained from the BSRA-3 Spanish Record Form were compared with scores from the Nonverbal Index of the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children, Second Edition, and the Preschool and Kindergarten Behavior Scales, Second Edition. As expected, the correlation between school readiness scores and nonverbal intelligence was significant and moderate in the positive direction and the correlations between school readiness scores and behaviors were low. Discriminant validity evidence for BSRA-3 scores was demonstrated using Steiger's Z test to compare correlations of similar and dissimilar constructs. As hypothesized, significant results emerged. (author abstract)

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Continuity of child care subsidy receipt: Why definitions of spells and gaps matter: Technical brief
Krafft, Caroline, December, 2014
(Child Trends Publication No. 2015-55). Bethesda, MD: Child Trends.

In this brief, we use administrative data from one state's child care subsidy program to demonstrate how the overall patterns of subsidy continuity are influenced by the time unit used and by the definition of the end of a subsidy spell. The examples presented here demonstrate that the proportion of children with short spells varies depending on the spell definition. The length of subsidy spells can vary substantially based on the definition of a break, because many children have short interruptions in subsidy receipt. Furthermore, we show that one must be cautious in comparing results about subsidy continuity across states that use different time units. In our example, the median spell length using monthly data was longer by approximately one month compared to the median based on weekly data. Additionally, a four-week break in subsidy participation is not equivalent to a break of one calendar month when developing measures of continuity. (author abstract)

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Research Connections is supported by grant #90YE0104 from the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents are solely the responsibility of the National Center for Children in Poverty and the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, the Administration for Children and Families, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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