McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership Publications

Document Type

Executive Summary

Publication Date

Fall 9-23-2009


In recent years, a host of studies have exposed wide inconsistency in quality of early childhood education programs in the United States. Findings reveal that large populations of young children receive poor or inadequate services. Policymakers have responded by pursuing a variety of strategies to measure and ultimately enhance children's early learning experiences. However, with numerous measurement tools available, the meaningful and consistent measurement of quality has proven challenging. It is unclear how quality measures compare, what they specifically measure, and how they function across three early childhood education systems—child care, Head Start, and state-funded pre-kindergarten. To address these questions researchers at the National Center for Children and Families at Teachers College, Columbia University examined two measures designed for program improvement, monitoring, and research and evaluation: the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Revised (ECERS-R), a tool that describes global classroom quality; and the Program Administration Scale (PAS), which measures the quality of a center's leadership and management practices. This research brief summarizes the results of that study.

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