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Exploring Head Start teacher and leader perceptions of the Pre-K Classroom Assessment Scoring System as a part of the Head Start Designation Renewal System

For Head Start programs, the 2010 enactment of the Head Start Designation Renewal System (HS-DRS) reflects a national trend in rising accountability related to classroom quality for early childhood programs. Under HS-DRS, all Head Start programs are required to meet seven key criteria to qualify for or maintain program funding. One of the seven criteria is to meet identified minimum cut scores on a single, observational measure of classroom quality. Programs that fail to meet the minimum scores for this measure can be required to re-compete for their grants. The result is a high-stakes context where a single-day of observation, by a single observer, in a limited number of classrooms, can determine a program’s funding. Using an ethnographic case study approach, this study explores how seven teachers and two program leaders in a mid-sized, urban Head Start program made sense of this requirement and connected it to their beliefs about children’s needs, learning and development, the complex nature of quality, preschool teaching, and rising accountability in Head Start. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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