Exploring the Associations of the Pre-K CLASS with Children’s School Readiness in FACES 2014: Associations for Subgroups and Thresholds of Quality
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded Mathematica to explore associations between the Pre-K Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) and Head Start children’s school readiness outcomes using data from the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey. This research extended the findings of prior studies to examine whether Pre-K CLASS dimension scores that are conceptually linked to specific child outcomes are most predictive of that outcome, whether quality matters more for Head Start children with different background characteristics who may arrive to classrooms with different experiences and needs, and whether quality needs to reach a certain threshold to promote Head Start children’s development. Overall, we found limited associations between children’s school readiness outcomes and the Pre-K CLASS scores. These associations were limited regardless of whether children were dual language learners, children of color, or experiencing poverty. We also did not find evidence to support that classroom quality needs to reach a certain threshold to be associated with children’s outcomes. We provide a substantial discussion of our findings in the context of research on classroom quality and provide some recommendations for measuring classroom quality moving forward.