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Massachusetts Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) Overview of revised standards and initial pilot design.

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Presentation on theme: "Massachusetts Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) Overview of revised standards and initial pilot design."— Presentation transcript:

1 Massachusetts Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) Overview of revised standards and initial pilot design

2 Overview Purpose of MA QRIS Standards – process for development, content, public comment QRIS Pilot – options, public comment Next steps Direction from the Board

3 Questions for the Boards consideration: Do you have any concerns about the standards, or their evidence, as they are currently written? Which programs should be invited to participate in the pilot? How should the UPK and Head Start grants be integrated into the QRIS pilot? Do you agree that the QRIS, as planned to be piloted, will help programs to be involved in continuous quality improvement? 3

4 Purposes of Massachusetts QRIS Parents have easily accessible information about the quality of early care and education programs. Programs and providers use one streamlined set of standards that are connected to supports and fiscal incentives to help them meet and maintain the standards. Programs receive feedback and are involved in continuous quality improvement. Policymakers understand where and how to invest additional resources. 4

5 Process for developing QRIS Standards Guidance from EEC Board and EEC Advisory Team (Feb. - March 2008) Group of internal and external stakeholders created a draft (Feb. – Nov. 2008) Presentation to Board about QRIS Standards (Jan. 2009) Draft posted for public input (Mar – June 2009) Heard that the Standards were complicated Concerns about whether truly evidence-based Standards were reviewed and revised in order to ensure that they are clear, evidence-based and measurable (Nov 2009 – Jan 2010) 5

6 MA QRIS Standards Standards Categories: Curriculum and Learning Environment Workforce Qualifications and Professional Development Family Involvement Leadership, Management and Administration Customized for: Center and School Based Family Child Care After-School and Out of School Time 6

7 QRIS Standards - Categories Topics covered within each category: Curriculum and Learning: curriculum, assessment, teacher child relationships and interactions, special education, children with diverse language and cultures Environment: indoor, outdoor, health and safety Workforce Qualifications and Professional Development: directors, teachers, teacher assistants, consultants Family Involvement Leadership, Management and Administration: administration, management and leadership, supervision, evaluation, community involvement 7

8 QRIS Standards – Block System Massachusetts Standards are now a Building Blocks System – Must do everything at Level 1 before progressing to Level 2, etc. Is this common nationally?* Building blocks - All standards in a level must be met to move to the next level: 13 states - DC, DE, IN, KY, MD, ME, MT, NH, NM, OH, OK, PA, TN Points systems - Standards are assigned a point value, which are calculated to determine ratings: 3 states - CO, NC, VT Combination - A combination of building blocks and points used to determine ratings: 2 states - IA, LA 8 * From NCCIC presentation at the 2009 Smart Start conference

9 Example: Center-Based: Curriculum and Learning - Curriculum 9

10 Center-Based: Workforce Qualifications and PD: Teacher 10

11 11 Family Child Care: Workforce Qualifications and PD: FCC Provider

12 School-Age: Workforce Qualifications and PD: Teacher 12

13 Highlights: Measurement Documentation of meeting the standards will be done through having a license in good standing, document submission, use of the following tools, verification in the workforce registry, and onsite monitoring using the ERS tools (ECERS, ITERS, FCCERS, and SACCRS) Tools selected to reduce self-report by programs and instead move to use of common tools. Many of these tools are available free of charge and EEC will work to make them available on its website. Tools now in the standards include: Curriculum: Materials Checklist in the Early Childhood Program Standards or NAFCC (Level 2); Optional: CLASS (Center/School, Level 4) Teacher Child Relationships: Self-assessment tool to monitor classroom climate such as Arnett (Level 2); Arnett Scale completed by outside reviewer (Level 4) Children with Diverse Languages: Self-assessment using the ECERS or ELLCO (Center/School, Level 3); Use of the Pre-Las or other valid instruments to determine childs primary language (Level 4) Outdoor: Use of a certified playground inspector (Center/School, Level 3) Health and Safety: Use of the California Health Scale as a self-assessment (Center/School, Level 3) Family Involvement: Strengthening Families self-assessment tool (Level 2) Leadership, Management and Administration: Optional: Program Administration Scale by outside validator or NAEYC validation visit 13

14 Similarities between previous version and current version of Standards All 9 categories of standards in previous version have been consolidated into current 5 categories of standards Licensing continues as the foundation at Level 1 Points criteria in previous Levels 2 & 3 informed revision of standards. Intent of points criteria is reflected in current standards Current standards have a level that reflects the value of national accreditation 14

15 Highlights: ERS tools Many states have a strong role for the ERS tools in their QRIS standards – 14 of 18 states include. Variations in way included*: ERS Scores are used to determine rating levels: 7 states Program can earn rating points for ERS scores: 4 states Program must be assessed with ERS, but does not tie particular scores to ratings: 2 states Self-assessment tool: 1 state MA Standards have a strong role for the ERS tools Level 2 – use the tools for self assessment Level 3 – score of 4.0 or higher, with no sub-score below 3.0, by outside reliable administrator Level 4 – score of 5.0 or higher in all areas by outside reliable administrator ERS vs. CLASS ERS is more broadly focused on the environment, whereas CLASS focuses on instructional practice, teacher child interactions and the content of the teacher's instruction in the classroom Decided to use ERS tools as foundational building blocks and self- assessment tools, and introduce CLASS at higher levels and through professional development 15 * From NCCIC presentation at the 2009 Smart Start conference

16 Highlights: National Accreditation We heard concerns about: the reliability of national accreditation measuring quality; the costs of pursuing national accreditation; and the lack of research studies that validate the value of national accreditation We also heard support for national accreditation Because its a national model The benefit of programs going through a standardized process The states investment to date in national accreditation Revised the standards to: Have a Level 4 + for accreditation, because of block system will still need to document evidence of meeting earlier criteria 16

17 Highlights: Workforce Qualifications We heard feedback about: The QRIS standards needed to lay out a pathway for workforce qualifications The Workforce Taskforce made some preliminary recommendations about a career lattice How would the career lattice and QRIS align? Revised the standards to: Provide a pathway describing the workforce qualifications for Directors, Teachers, Family Child Care Providers, Assistants, and Consultants 17

18 Highlights: License-Exempt programs License exempt programs = public school preschool, some Montessori and or religious elementary schools We heard concerns about: Having different entry points into the QRIS for license and license-exempt programs at Level 1 Concerns about not having license-exempt programs meet basic health and safety standards as codified in licensing at Level 1 Revised the standards to: Rely on precedent in Income Eligible re-procurement License-Exempt programs will use the Center and School-Based standards. They will have to demonstrate they can meet licensing standards at Level 1. 18

19 Highlights: Strengthening Families Massachusetts is a Strengthening Families Affiliate State. Strengthening Families is a national parenting and family strengthening program for high-risk families. We heard feedback about: How could we incorporate the work Massachusetts was doing as a state on Strengthening Families into the QRIS standards? Revised the standards to: Include the Strengthening Families framework as a training topic for Directors, Teachers, Family Child Care Providers and Assistants Added criteria that starting at Level 2, programs and providers must use the Strengthening Families self- assessment tool 19

20 Public Comment QRIS Moving Forward, CAYL 12/16/09 Concern: Missing national accreditation Response: Created a Level 4+ for national accreditation Concern: Language in Environment section about meeting ADA requirements Response: Revised language to clarify Program meets ADA accessibility requirements that are readily achievable Question – Did the education requirements in the workforce section apply to all teachers? Response: Yes, the intent is all teachers at a site or meets NAEYC timeline (for Center-Based and Public School) 20

21 Additional Public Comment: Since the standards were posted in late December EEC has received additional feedback: Concern: Duplication of efforts for Head Start programs and programs pursuing NAEYC because of the structure of the building blocks. Programs would need to submit material to up to three systems. Response: Common materials could be used to submit to each system. Concern: Some of the standards at each level seem impossible. Response: These standards set forth a set of standards based on research and best practice. Together need to figure out supports to help programs achieve these standards. Concern: If programs perceive they wont get far up the levels, why would they participate? Response: Over time the state will increasingly focus its resources on programs who can demonstrate quality. QRIS will be used as a way to identify these programs. EEC recognizes, based on other other states experiences, that there will be a start-up period as programs get involved in the QRIS and the supports to programs evolve. Concern from the Advisory Team about not having sufficient time to review the current standards before coming to the Board Response: QRIS will be on the the Advisory Team agenda on 1/27/10 21

22 QRIS Pilot 22

23 QRIS Pilot – Spring 2010 Invite a selected group of programs to participate in the pilot Through the pilot EEC will test out the rating system and the monitoring tools EEC will work to develop fiscal incentives from ARRA and other sources for FY2011 to encourage programs to move up to the next level Will continuously reflect on pilot, seeking ways to improve in preparation for full implementation Family and Consumer Engagement campaign will be part of full implementation, not pilot, because need to have enough programs involved 23

24 QRIS Pilot - Timeline February – May 2010 Train reviewers to reliability on ERS tools Invite selected programs to submit documentation for rating June 2010 EEC staff review documentation and determine eligibility for ratings July – September 2010 Do onsite reviews, primarily for ERS ratings Concurrently Rebidding Professional Development Programs will continue to receive EEC funding, of which a portion could become dependent on completing the rating process Determine other sources to support program quality 24

25 QRIS Pilot – Participants Who should be invited to participate in the pilot? For consideration - state intends to align access to program quality supports with having a QRIS rating. Interested in ensuring that programs where state is invested continue to have access to program quality supports Option 1: *Recommendation* Current UPK grantees Head Start programs, and Income eligible contract providers (center-based, public school, family child care and school-age) Option 2: Any interested program Set quotas for setting type During review process, prioritize programs where state already invested 25

26 QRIS Pilot - Fiscal Incentives In FY2011 Seek additional funding to help with targeted program improvements For consideration: UPK and Head Start grants are grants the state currently gives to a set of programs for quality improvement activities Option A) Award UPK and Head Start grants, encourage grantees to participate in QRIS Option B) Invite UPK and Head Start programs to be part of the pilot. Award first half of grant. Receiving the second half of the grant would be contingent on earning a rating and submission of a plan for using the grant to improve rating In FY2012 – If have additional funding consider distributing fiscal incentives using a formula, such as: 26

27 Public Comment about the Pilot: Since posting the QRIS Standards and talking about the potential QRIS Pilot, EEC has received public feedback: Feedback – An original guiding principle was not to do this until we had money for new fiscal incentives and a program and practitioner supports. There do not appear to be any new fiscal incentives or sufficient program supports, why are you doing this now? Related feedback - Understanding that QRIS is a necessary system component to be eligible for the Early Learning Challenge Grant and we dont want to jeopardize our chances for that Response: In order to be competitive for the Early Learning Challenge Grant, Massachusetts must move ahead with a QRIS. For the pilot, what EEC is offering are not truly fiscal incentives. The UPK and HS grants are already given to programs for a particular purpose. What is the incentive for income eligible programs to participate? Response: EEC is interested in piloting with programs where the state already has an investment for low-income children. EEC will seek additional investments to build program quality. I thought the QRIS was going to be voluntary? Making a programs grant contingent on participating in the QRIS does not seem voluntary? Response: Over time the state intends to align access to its quality resources with participation in the QRIS. 27

28 Public Comment received: Concern: It seems to be a conflict of interest to have the licensor also be the QRIS rater/reviewer. Response: This is to be worked through during the pilot. Suggestions include: licensors would not review programs in their caseload; Regional Provider/Educator and Family/Community Engagement Specialists could be involved in reviews; in future, when funding available could consider contracting out this function. For the pilot, why these groups of programs? Will there be public schools? Will there be independent family child care providers Response: The recommended group of program represents a mix of age types – I/T, PreK, and SACC, and setting types. A small number of public schools and independent family child care providers are included through UPK. How will we have the resources to take this to scale? We want to make sure that what were piloting is what we want to take to scale. Response: Through the pilot we will learn a lot about the resources needed to take this scale, in terms of: supports needed for programs to meet the standards, resources to award an accurate rating, fiscal incentives to participate in the QRIS. 28

29 QRIS Next Steps: Pilot the QRIS this spring Pilot rating and monitoring process Ensure connection between PD procurement and QRIS Complete workforce registry There will be an opportunity after the pilot to step back and consider any necessary changes to the Standards or Rating process, and continue developing the QRIS through a continuous improvement process 29

30 Questions for the Boards consideration: Do you have any concerns about the standards, or their evidence, as they are currently written? Which programs should be invited to participate in the pilot? How should the UPK and Head Start grants be integrated into the QRIS pilot? Do you agree that the QRIS, as planned to be piloted, will help programs to be involved in continuous quality improvement? 30

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