The Program Quality Assessment (PQA) is a rating instrument designed to evaluate the quality of early childhood programs and identify staff training needs.
The PQA is reliable and valid and is appropriate for use in all center-based early childhood settings, including but not limited to those using the HighScope educational approach.
The PQA is an all-in-one program evaluation system with the following features:
OnlinePQA.net is a web-based tool for documenting, capturing evidence in the form of electronic images, and scoring the PQA for both classroom and school. Online resources allow users to score and report on baseline results, set goals for improvement, and monitor progress overtime. OnlinePQA.net is a subscription based program sold through HighScope.
The PQA measures key dimensions of program quality across multiple domains: examples include – learning environment, daily routine, adult-child interaction, curriculum planning and assessment, parent involvement and family services, staff qualifications and development, and program management.
Raters observe the program and interview the appropriate staff members. They record supporting evidence for each row (component) of every item. They read the indicators (definitions and examples) for that row and check the one box per row that best reflects the supporting evidence. Then, using the scoring rules they circle one item rating for the item as a whole.
The PQA can be completed as a self-assessment or completed by outside raters observing the daily activities within the classroom. PQA is deigned to be given at the beginning of the program year (baseline) with a follow-up at the end of the program year (end of year).
Administrators can use PQA to evaluate programs and classrooms, and teachers can use it to evaluate their own classrooms. Both can use it to identify professional development needs. In conjunction with OnlinePQA.net, a web based application for collecting, scoring, and reporting on Program Quality, the PQA provides meaningful feedback to assist programs in program design, program monitoring, and planning.
Reliability and Validity
Studies shows the Preschool PQA to be a highly reliable and valid instrument for measuring program quality and determining its relationship to staff qualifications, staff development initiatives, and young children’s developmental outcomes. Overall, interrater agreement is significant and internal consistency is strong. Finally, there is substantial evidence for the validity of the quality constructs based on the confirmatory factor analysis and the relationship of the PQA to other quality measures.
Source – PQA Administrators Manual HighScope Copyright © 2003 High/Scope Educational Research Foundation, 600 N. River St.,Ypsilanti, MI 48198.
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HighScope’s Program Quality Assessment tool, PQA, is a rating instrument designed to evaluate the quality of early childhood programs and identify staff training needs. The program provides specific, easily understood quality indicators with objective 5-point rating scales that define quality along a continuum. PQA is a research-based, field tested tool that meets “best practices” in early childhood care and education.
The internet-based version of the tool, OnlinePQA, has offerings for three different program settings:
Infant-Toddler PQA ■ Preschool PQA ■ Family Child Care PQA
Based on scores and information entered into OnlinePQA, the program generates several reports: Classroom Reports, Planning Report, and Comparative Report.
The Preschool PQA has been used extensively as a research tool by trained independent raters in over 800 preschool classrooms and child care centers. To read more… Click here
The Predictive Assessment of Reading (PAR) is a short (12 - 15 minute) universal reading test that:
Measures a student’s current level of reading skills;
Calculates an accurate prediction of present and future reading scores;
Tells what particular extra skill training each child needs; and
Suggests strategies for remediation of those needs.
PAR can be given beginning in the spring of Pre-K through 3rd grade and tests four basic skills that every child needs in order to learn to read and to keep growing in reading skills.
Picture Naming Vocabulary - Looking at a picture of an object and saying the name of the object. It’s a good way to measure a child’s overall vocabulary or knowledge of word meanings. Vocabulary is the foundation of language itself and is essential for growth in reading beyond 1st grade.
Letter-Word Calling - Looking at a word and pronouncing it correctly, either by sight (just knowing it), or by “sounding it out” (breaking the word “bat” into b-a-t, knowing the sound each letter makes, and blending the separate letters “b-a-t” together to make “bat.”)
Phonemic Awareness - Understanding the individual sounds in a word. If a child has trouble learning to read, it’s usually because of trouble with the sounds in words. The child may be able to hear and pronounce words correctly, but have difficulty taking the word apart into its individual sounds (for example, being able to say “ark” when asked to say “mark” without the “mmm” sound).
Rapid Naming Fluency - Quickly naming a string of familiar items on a page, such as series of numbers, letters, colors or objects.
PAR results are reported in three different ways:
Standard scores - Each skill area receives a score; then two overall composite scores are given; (1) the expected reading level on a current one-on-one test like the Woodcock-Johnson; and (2) the predicted future 3rd grade and 8th grade reading scores (3rd grade based on WJ III and 8th grade based on Gates Macginitie)
Remediation codes - These codes tell which skills should be the highest priority for remedial attention in order for reading skills to develop satisfactorily. Codes are provided for children in need of intervention, those reading at grade level, and those reading above current grade level.
Intensity codes - These codes tell how serious the need is for intervention and in what type of setting the student will best benefit (one-on-one, small group, whole class instruction).
The PAR can be administered to preschool children (those expected to transition to kindergarten in the fall) beginning in the spring semester and administered to children in kindergarten through the 3 grade in the fall, winter, and spring.
Yes, the PAR is available in both English and Spanish. The Spanish supplement to PAR uses a separate Picture Naming & Letter-Word Calling cue card with Spanish words. The Spanish supplement is intended for use with students in schools where either: (a) English is already the medium of instruction, or (b) the intended goal for students in the school is to acquire reading skills in English within the next three years.
PAR goes beyond measuring a student’s reading ability. It doesn’t just tell the teacher that the child is behind in reading; it provides data which shows the specific areas where the student needs the most instruction along with strategies to include in a classroom’s small-group time and whole classroom time.
PAR helps with the transition from testing to teaching. As many children will need the same type of help, some of the individualized instruction can be accomplished through whole class and small-group instruction, in addition to one-on-one attention. The advantage of using PAR over other reading assessments, is that once the teacher knows which skills each student needs to improve to be a successful reader, PAR provides ideas and instruction for both whole class and small-group times allowing the teacher to plan appropriate strategies based on the information learned from the most recent testing results. Whole class instruction includes information for Transition Times, Teacher Talk Time, and Text Times; while small-group settings include instruction for phonological decoding and vocabulary building.
PAR is quick and easy taking only about 12-15 minutes per student. It provides immediate feedback for teachers and a list of strategies for improvement and a means of monitoring. The PAR is designed to be administered by a teacher, one child at a time, beginning with the spring semester for Pre-K children transitioning to kindergarten in the fall, then continuing up to three times a year for children in kindergarten through 3rd grade.
The reliability, validity, specificity, sensitivity, classification accuracy data for PAR are all at or nearly at 90% for all measures which resulted in it being classified as having convincing evidence of its ability to accurately identify reading deficits. PAR has been completely researched and field tested since 1986. Please see our Technical Manual for a full description of this longitudinal research. PAR’s scoring logic is so specific that it has received a U.S. Patent for its scoring algorithms.
The predictive algorithms for PAR change over time. Different subtests are weighted differently in different years and portions of years. As a result, First Grade scores on PAR predict Eighth Grade reading better than any other First Grade screener predicts Second Grade reading. PAR accounts for changes in the demands of reading over time in a way other tests can’t (Steven Dykstra, 2014).
The National Center on Response to Intervention rates PAR with their highest rating - convincing evidence - in all areas of reliability and validity. PAR subtests are representative of the expectations, knowledge and skills identified in the Common CORE State Standards (CCSS) for reading foundation skills (phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, ability to read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension), and language skills (conventions of Standard English and vocabulary acquisition).
Yes, the PAR and CBM (Curriculum Based Measurement) can be used together effectively.
PAR’s Family Guide explains to parents what PAR measures and how to interpret the scoring- Remediation and Intensity Codes. In addition, the Family Report provides a summary of a student’s performance and specific strategies parents can employ at home to challenge students and scaffold learning.
The PAR kit includes assessment stimulus cards, score sheets, progress monitoring materials to go along with an online platform that allows teachers to get and share student and classroom data with parents and other educators.
The annual subscription starts at $7/student and includes all of the materials necessary for administering the PAR. Quantity pricing available.
Call 1-888-386-3822 option 1; fax your order to 336-777-0096; or send your purchase order to Red-e Set Grow, LLC P.O. Box 1674 Clemmons, NC 27012
OnlinePAR.net provides tutorials and other information about research and testimonials as to PAR’s effectiveness. Discussion and demonstrations of PAR can be scheduled by contacting Gavin Haque at: (888) 386-3822 Ext 1712 or firstname.lastname@example.org
PAR can be used as an initial screener for dyslexia because two of the PAR subtests directly assess areas that predict developmental dyslexia. These subtests, phonemic awareness and rapid naming speed, have been consistently shown to be concurrent predictors of dyslexia (Landeri, et. al, 2012, Pennington, Cardosao-Martins, Green, & Lefly, 2001; Torgensen, Wagner, Rashotte, Burgess, & Hecht, 1997). After administering PAR, educators can use the results to identify students who are predicted to struggle in learning to read based on one, or both, of these areas. As early as a Kindergarten, educators can identify these students and suggest further evaluation by a qualified professional.
Landeri, K., Ramus, F., Moll, K., Lyyhnen, H., Leppanen, P., Lohvansuu, K., . . . Schulte-Korne, G. (2012). Predictors of developmental dyslexia in European orthographies with varying complexity. The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54, 686-694.
Pennington, B.F., Cardoso-Martins, C., Green, P.A., Lefly, D.L. Comparing the phonological and double deficit hypotheses for developmental dyslexia. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 14, 707-755.
Torgesen, J.K., Wagner, R.K., Rashotte, C.A., Burgess, C., & Hecht, S. (1997). Contributions of phonological awareness and rapid automatic naming ability to the growth of word-reading skills in second-to-fifth grade children. Scientific Studies of Reading, 1, 161-185.