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Research-Validated Tools

Measure achievement, evaluate quality and chart future directions with HighScope's assessments.
Because ongoing evaluation should be an integral part of the educational process, HighScope offers validated assessment tools and materials for infant-toddler, preschool, elementary, and youth programs. These include instruments for both child assessment and program assessment

With these tools, teachers, administrators and caregivers can monitor each child's developmental progress, plan appropriate daily activities based on observations recorded in anecdotal notes, and communicate effectively with parents and other important decision-makers about children's achievements.

Child Progress Assessments 
Unlike many traditional test-based assessment systems that target narrow skills used in artificial contexts, the COR focuses on the broad cognitive, social-emotional, and physical abilities that are nurtured in developmentally appropriate educational programs. The patterns revealed through COR observations can help teachers and administrators determine how best to strengthen the program to meet each child's developmental needs, as well as those of the group as a whole.

Infant-Toddler Child Observation Record (COR) and
Preschool Child Observation Record (COR)

These comprehensive assessment tools are closely linked to the HighScope classroom curriculum. However, these generic instruments can be used in any developmentally oriented early childhood program.

Early Literacy Skills Assessment (ELSA)
Developed by HighScope's Early Childhood Reading Institute, ELSA is a generic instrument designed to measure the emerging literacy skills of children enrolled in early childhood programs. A unique storybook format enables teachers to assess young children's skills in the areas of comprehension, alphabetic principle, phonological awareness, and concepts about print — in other words, the early literacy abilities emphasized in the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 and in the 2000 report of the National Reading Panel. The ELSA is unique among early literacy assessments in its ability to measure comprehension in the natural context of reading a story.

Program Assessments
HighScope's Preschool Program Quality Assessment (Preschool PQA), Youth Program Quality Assessment (Youth PQA), and Ready School Assessment (RSA) are used to pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of educational programs. These instruments generate a customized, easy-to-understand profile using quality indicators that reflect best practices.

The assessments evaluate key aspects of program quality including

  • The learning environment
  • Adult-child interaction
  • Daily routine
  • Curriculum planning and assessment
  • Parental involvement
  • Family services
  • Staff qualifications and development
  • Program management

The Preschool PQA and the Youth PQA may be administered by outside raters or used as self-assessments by program staff. The RSA is designed as a team-based self-assessment.





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