Design Provider Forum - Child Development (CA Dept of Education)

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					                             CAEL QIS PROVIDER FORUM
                                  SAN FRANCISCO
                                   JULY 12, 2010

Design Subcommittee Discussion Group
The proposed ERS scores at the top 3 tiers was the focus of the conversation. All of the
participants in this group were very familiar with the ERS tools and assessment process, as
they had been assessed by Gateway to Quality. It was agreed that the scores for the top 3
tiers needs to be adjusted, because the criteria for Tier 5 was neither “aspirational “ nor
“attainable” , as is the charge of the committee.

The group agreed that though using the ERS tools can be very helpful, there comes a point (especially
above the 5 level) when to achieve a higher score you must choose between what is right for the needs
of the children and “getting a good score”. To illustrate this point, here are specific examples given by
teachers and directors to illustrate choices they face in their programs:

      “Our program has a large, open area with tall ceilings, and sound is often an issue. Though we
       provide many opportunities for music and dance throughout the day, we choose not to keep
       musical instruments accessible to children when we are inside because it gets overwhelmingly
       loud. Doing this means we can’t get the highest score on the ECERS, but it’s the right choice for
       our program.”

      “We have a relatively small indoor space, so using a loft in our classroom is an excellent way to
       maximize space, we can’t get the highest score, but we know the children are safe in the loft”

      Some programs, specifically those serving children with complex homelessness issues and/or
       special needs, choose to keep the environment visually simple and soothing, which keeps them
       from scoring above the 3 level on Item 6: Child-related Display.

      “We would rather be talking and listening to children than counting whether we have exactly 3-5
       of every kind of material or worrying about whether or not popsicle sticks count for three-
       dimensional artwork”

      We don’t want our programs to be “cookie cutter”

The group agreed that some of the core components of high quality care are that providers are
culturally responsive, embody reflective practice and intentional y teach children and the ERS scales to
not capture these qualities.

Other comments made:
    High inter-rater reliability is essential for accurate use of the ERS and CLASS tools- without it,
       scores are totally meaningless.

California Department of Education
July 12, 2010
      To preserve a programs ability to meet the needs of the children and families, we need to not
       require scores that would essentially either homogenize all programs, or lead to a great deal of
       staging just for the assessments.

      We wish these tools could be used for measurement and learning, not determining funding

      Self-assessment on with the ERS scales is problematic- confusing at best, misleading at worst.

      It would be nice if there were established criteria for excellence, and sites were asked “what do
       you do to meet these criteria? And how do you meet these criteria?” instead of being given a

      Expecting above a 5 average is especially challenging for some specific programs and/or
       philosophies (such as Montessori and Reggio Emilia programs), so these programs could
       potentially be excluded from the highest tiers, even if they are very high quality

      For true parent choice to be effective, all types of programs need to be able to achieve the
       highest Tier 5

Additional questions that were asked:
    What are the comprehensive linkages to support when/if scores go down upon reassessment?

      Why aren’t there specific score recommendations and/or thresholds for PAS/BAS and CLASS,
       but there are for ERS?

      How does this roll out? Why would anyone want to participate? (SF used incentives for the first
       6 years)

      What happens if the scales are revised? (As the Family Child Care tool was 3 years ago)

      Who performs the assessments? (the current CDE people are not reliable and score
       inaccurately and incompletely)

California Department of Education
July 12, 2010

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