ERIC Number: ED480815
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Reference Count: N/A
Early Care and Education in Massachusetts Public School Preschool Classrooms. A Report on the Findings from the Massachusetts Cost and Quality Study.
Marshall, Nancy L.; Creps, Cindy L.; Burstein, Nancy R.; Glantz, Frederic B.; Robeson, Wendy Wagner; Barnett, Steve; Schimmenti, Jennifer; Keefe, Nancy
Massachusetts has a comprehensive system of early care and education that provides preschool programs for over 165,000 children, an estimated 27,600 of which attend preschool programs administered by public school systems. The second phase of the Massachusetts Cost and Quality Study examined 95 school-based, publicly administered preschool classrooms to determine characteristics, the quality of care and education, whether the quality varies by the family income of the children being served, what characteristics are linked to the quality of the school-based preschool classrooms, and the costs of public preschool education in public schools. Overall findings of this second phase of the study can be summarized as follows: (1) school-based, publicly administered preschool classrooms fill a particular niche in the early care and education market; (2) most of Massachusetts' publicly-administered preschool classrooms provide early care and education that meets or exceeds national standards for good quality; (3) three-quarters of the classrooms met or exceeded the Good benchmark on language and reasoning stimulation, and 87 percent met or exceeded the Good benchmark on social interactions; (4) the level of quality for public-school preschool programs serving lower income children was comparable to that of other public school programs in Massachusetts; (5) while the majority of the programs provide quality early care and education, there is room for improvement in opportunities for outdoor play and in meeting staff needs; (6) additional teacher training in early childhood education, beyond their formal education, such as the training provided by the Community Partnerships Children program, raises the level of language-reasoning stimulation provided to children in a given classroom; (7) teachers in classrooms with fewer children, as well as better ratios of children to instructional staff, provided greater warmth and sensitivity and greater teacher engagement with children; (8) classrooms that were NAEYC-accredited scored higher on both stimulation and warmth and sensitivity; (9) the majority of these preschool classrooms were inclusive classrooms, service both children with special needs and children without, and quality did not vary with the types of special education services offered, or the specific diagnoses of the children with special needs; and (10) per pupil expenditures in these inclusive preschool classrooms are estimated at $11,187 per year, or $21.68 per child hour, for preschool children with special needs and $3,236 per year or $6.27 per child hour, for children in the regular education program. (Contains 21 references.) (HTH)
Descriptors: Classroom Environment, Costs, Educational Quality, Expenditure per Student, Inclusive Schools, Language Acquisition, Preschool Education, Public Schools, Social Development, Special Needs Students, Teacher Student Relationship
Center for Research on Women, Wellesley Centers for Women, 106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02481 ($5). Tel: 781-283-2500; Fax: 781-283-2504; Web site: http://www.wellesley.edu.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Massachusetts State Dept. of Education, Malden.; Abt Associates, Inc., Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Wellesley Coll., MA. Center for Research on Women.
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts