NIEER’s webinar provided an overview of changes to State of Preschool report quality standards benchmarks, reasons for the updates and policies that should be in place to meet the new benchmarks.
Presenters included NIEER Founder and Senior Co-Director Steve Barnett and yearbook co-author Allison Friedman-Krauss Ph.D., along with representatives from Michigan, Alabama, and New Mexico discussing how they have integrated or plan to integrate new benchmark criteria into state policy/practice.
New quality standards benchmarks raise the bar for quality supports and reflect the importance of more direct supports for process quality–the actual experiences children have within classrooms, primarily through interactions with teachers and peers.
Such interactions are significantly linked with children’s development. New benchmarks focus on policies that can foster high-quality interactions, such as professional development and coaching for all teaching staff and continuous improvement quality systems through which teachers receive constructive feedback on their teaching practices. Recent research shows coaching focused on improving interactions with children can both improve teaching practices and ensure high-quality classroom environments.
Additional updates focus on the content of classroom instruction, including policies to support curriculum implementation and early learning standards aligned with both other state standards and child assessments.
Download Overview of Changes to NIEER Quality Standards Benchmarks for a one-page explanation of current and new quality standards benchmarks, as well as changes.