Classroom Assessment Scoring System Scale
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About Classroom Assessment Scoring System Scale
Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS). The CLASS (Pianta, La Paro, et al., 2008) is a well-established judgment-based scale that is informed by classroom observations. The CLASS has been recommended for widespread use by Head Start in response to the charge in the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act (2007) of evaluating programs based on research-based metrics.
It assesses the quality of preschool classrooms across three broad domains: (a) Emotional Support (ES), (b) Classroom Organization (CO), and (c) Instructional Support (IS). The ES domain measures the teachers’ ability to support the social and emotional functioning of children in the classroom. The CO domain measures classroom practices to organize and manage child behavior, time, and attention. The IS domain measures teachers’ support of cognitive and language development through curriculum implementation.
Within each of the three broad domains are three or four focused dimensions: (a) Emotional Support (positive climate, absence of a negative climate, teacher sensitivity, and regard for student perspectives), (b) Classroom Organization (behavior management, productivity, and instructional learning formats), and (c) Instructional Support (concept development, quality of feedback, and language modeling). Each of the 10 dimensions is rated along a 7-point scale (1, 2 = low quality; 3, 4, 5 = mid-range of quality; 6, 7 = high quality). Once completed, individual dimension scores are added across cycles and divided by the number of observation cycles completed, yielding an average score on each dimension across the four observation cycles.
The CLASS has been well-developed and is valid for use in preschool settings (Pianta, La Paro, et al., 2008). The measure evidences good reliability (internal consistency alphas ranging from .79 to .80; Pianta, La Paro, et al., 2008). Score agreement across the 10 dimensions ranges from 78.8% to 96.9% (Pianta, La Paro, et al., 2008), and it demonstrates stability across cycles, school days, and across the school year (Pianta, La Paro, et al., 2008). Further, the CLASS has demonstrated strong criterion validity estimates as reported by Pianta, La Paro, et al. (2008). Importantly, CLASS scores within the classroom organizational domain predict important child outcomes including improvements in academic achievement, self-control, and social competence (Curby et al., 2009; Mashburn et al., 2008).