Performance Improvement 2013-2014. Is Guidance or a Practical Tool Available that States and Evaluators can use to Develop Quality Rating and Improvement Systems Validation Efforts?

01/01/2014

Investments in state Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) for early care and education and school-age care are growing. Stakeholders are requesting evidence to demonstrate that QRIS are making progress toward desired goals. A critical piece of evidence about effectiveness includes information about the ability of a QRIS to measure and rate quality accurately. This technical issue is challenging to define and translate into a study design. Over a third of questioned state administrators described funding as a key challenge. Certain evaluation approaches will not be possible without significant fundraising. The costs of approaches that rely on new data collection (from practitioners, parents or children) for example, may be prohibitive, while approaches that can be conducted with existing data (such as a virtual pilot) will likely be less expensive. Weighing different approaches and their respective costs will be a central activity in the development of a validation plan. State respondents also reported that identification of priorities for a validation study is challenging.

Researchers developed guidance and a planning template to provide a practical tool that states and evaluators can use to develop QRIS validation efforts. This guidance is compatible with the perspective on validation provided in the application for the Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge grant. It also builds on other previous work.

Report Title: Key Elements of A QRIS Validation Plan: Guidance and Planning Template http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/resource/key-elements-of-a-qris-validation-plan-guidance-and-planning-template
Agency Sponsor: ACF-OPRE, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Federal Contact: Ivelisse Martinez-Beck, 202-690-7885
Performer: Child Trends
Record ID: 10143 (June 5, 2013)

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