As part of a growing focus on early childhood education, a team of CRDG evaluators collaborated with the University of Hawai‘i’s Center on the Family to help evaluate the quality of early language and literacy instruction in preschool classrooms. They used two major systems for evaluating early childhood school readiness and achievement. The first, the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) looks at the classroom climate, interactions between teachers and students, and the quality of instruction. The Early Language & Literacy Classroom Observation (ELLCO) program looks at teacher-student interaction and focuses on the physical environment, especially as it relates to the promotion of early literacy. Both approaches have a strong emphasis on teacher training and feedback to create a classroom environment that leads to early learning success.
The CRDG team went through intensive training and reliability testing for CLASS and ELLCO and, as a result, has developed local capacity to collect data using these instruments. The availability of locally trained data collectors represents substantial cost savings since it eliminates the need to bring trained evaluators from outside the state. This expertise expands CRDG’s ability to provide program evaluation and professional development support to the early childhood education community in Hawai‘i.