Great Start to Quality (GSQ) Quality Rating and Improvement System — Program Quality Assessment (QRIS–PQA) Project (2015–2016)
Great Start to Quality (GSQ) is Michigan’s tiered quality rating and improvement system that supports early childhood programs and providers in their efforts to improve their programs, while helping families find and choose quality programs that meet their children’s needs. The Early Childhood Investment Corporation (ECIC), an independent and publicly-owned nonprofit that implements the GSQ, supported HighScope’s Center for Early Education Evaluation (CEEE) to administer the assessment portion of GSQ. This included the hiring, training, and monitoring of the GSQ Assessment Specialists who conducted HighScope’s Preschool, Infant-Toddler, and Family Child Care Program Quality Assessments (PQAs) for programs that chose to participate in the GSQ. CEEE staff also implemented the Approved Rater certification process. GSQ includes an Alternate Path for eligible Great Start Readiness Programs, Head Start programs, and programs accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). These programs can request a certified Approved Rater to conduct their PQAs for Great Start to Quality.
The Numbers Plus Efficacy Study (2011–2016)
This study was funded by US Department of Education Institute for Education Sciences (IES), and was designed to validate HighScope's research-based early math curriculum. The study enabled us to understand the impact of Numbers Plus curriculum on child outcomes, and to refine a training and mentoring professional development model for supporting math instruction. The final report is expected this year.
The C.S. Mott Foundation-Funded Early Childhood Projects in the City of Flint, MI (2013–2014)
This project consisted of two parts. The first was to provide early childhood professionals in the city of Flint with access to HighScope's high-quality curriculum through training and coaching. The goal was to increase the quality of care and education for children from birth to age five residing in Flint. The second part was to conduct a city scan to collect information about the quantity and quality of existing early childhood programs and services in the city of Flint, and determine gaps in the existing services to assess the strengths and challenges of the community's early childhood programs. During this project, HighScope interviewed key stakeholders in the city of Flint, reviewed existing reports, developed and distributed surveys to gather additional information from Flint early childhood practitioners.
On average, preschool and infant-toddler teachers involved in the project were able to improve their knowledge of HighScope concepts and best practices in early childhood education, and applied this new found knowledge in their classroom teaching practices. The combination of training and in-class individualized coaching enhanced teachers' ability to apply their knowledge while implementing best practices — a transition often found to be difficult with just training. As a result, Flint teachers are implementing the HighScope Curriculum with greater fidelity, and children are attending higher-quality classrooms (as measured by the Program Quality Assessment [PQA]) with teachers who are better prepared to teach and care for them.
Parents as Teachers Innovative Approaches to Literacy (2012–2014)
This project was funded by the US Department of Education Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) grant program. It evaluated the augmentation of Parents as Teachers — one of the nation's largest home visiting programs — with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, which provides monthly book distribution to young children. The project took place in nine states and served children aged 0-4 living within high-need local educational agencies (LEAs). The main goals of the project were to: (1) increase parent-child literacy activities, through delivering literacy-focused group connections, home visits, and connecting parents with community libraries and literacy resources, and (2) increase the oral language skills of four-year-old children. This project included a sub-study where parent educators introduced Dialogic Reading, an evidence-based reading strategy, to parents during their home visits. HighScope used a multiple baseline, single-case design to assess the impact on a mother's reading practices and preschool-aged children's oral language.