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Recalibrating Quality Improvement: Who’s in the Driver's Seat?

by A dialogue between Margie Carter and Ann Hentschel
September/October 2014
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/recalibrating-quality-improvement--whos-in-the-drivers-seat/5021920/

Ann Hentschel has greatly contributed to my thinking about the use of quality assessment tools and environment rating scales. Before our conversations, I’d heard many examples of ways these tools were disheartening people and I wanted to discount the usefulness of this approach to raising quality. But Ann has patiently stayed in dialogue with me, pointing out that I tend to hang out in decent programs, not ones where children are strapped in high chairs in front of televisions or places where the teacher sets a timer and children are rotated through interest centers at 15-minute intervals. “For the sake of children in these environments, I welcome some level of accountability to justify funding,” Hentschel says, and I have to agree with her. The questions for me are: What should that look like? and How can we do this in a non punitive way for hard-working, under-paid teachers? How can we help program leaders use these tools to support teachers’ voices in decision making? How can we use these tools to support reflective teaching, not just rule following?

In our country we have far too many centers where children are in mediocre care at best, with some in pitiful environments, especially in ...

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