Assessment Overview

Great Start Readiness Preschool
Child Assessments
Child Observation Record (COR)
Ongoing assessments done daily throughout the year.
The COR is an observational tool. Teachers or caregivers spend a few minutes each day
writing brief notes ("anecdotes") that describe significant episodes of young children's
behavior. They record their notes on printed forms or in computer files, and then classify
and rate them according to the COR categories, items, and levels.
COR anecdotes, gathered on a child over time and systematically rated according to the
COR framework, are the basic units of information that are complied and analyzed to
provide a comprehensive portrait of each child's developmental gains and of the progress
of the group as a whole. Using COR forms and software, a variety of reports may be
generated from this information.
The COR is organized into six broad categories of child development. Within each
category is a list of observation items. These items are based on key developmental
indicators — KDIs (formerly known as key experiences) — in each content area for the
age range covered. There are six categories and 32 items on the Preschool COR and six
categories and 28 items on the Infant-Toddler COR. Under each of the items are five
developmental levels that describe behavior ranging from simple (1) to more complex
Early Literacy Skills Assessment
Assessment done two times per year- upon entering and exiting the program.
The Early Literacy Skills Assessment (ELSA) is an authentic assessment in the form of a
children's storybook. It is a generic instrument designed to measure the emerging literacy
skills of children attending early childhood programs — including but not limited to
programs using the HighScope educational approach.
The ELSA measures the four key principles of early literacy —
Phonological Awareness
Alphabetic Principle
Concepts About Print
— the early literacy abilities emphasized in the federal No Child Left Behind Act of
2002 and in the 2000 report of the National Reading Panel.
To conduct the assessment, a teacher reads the story with an individual child, stopping
where indicated in the book to ask questions or elicit ideas. To evaluate the child's
progress, the assessment is repeated at the end of the year with the same storybook. (If
children remain in a program for more than one year, a different ELSA book will be
needed for the second year.)
SRA Numbers World-Early Math Assessment
Assessment given upon entering the program and then periodically throughout the
year-a minimum of four times
Each level of Number Worlds contains a placement test to determine whether students
understand the content in each level of the program. Every placement test assesses
knowledge of two adjacent levels of Number Worlds so the teacher can observe and
compare information about which level’s content is appropriate for each student. The best
practice is to assess a student’s knowledge of the entire level of content and to place him
or her in the first unit in which he or she begins to show difficulty. As a child masters the
unit, they are reassessed and then moved to the next unit.
Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ)
Assessment given two times per year-within 30 days upon entering and no less than 30
days prior to leaving the program
Highly reliable and valid, ASQ looks at strengths and trouble spots, educates parents
about developmental milestones, and incorporates parents’ expert knowledge about their
Scores beneath the cutoff points indicate a need for further assessment; scores near the
cutoff points call for discussion and monitoring; and scores above the cutoff suggest the
child is on track developmentally.
Program Quality Assessment (PQA)
Assessment preformed by the Early Childhood Specialist-three times per year
The Preschool Program Quality Assessment (PQA) is a rating instrument designed to
evaluate the quality of early childhood programs and identify staff training needs.
The Preschool 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 Preschool PQA is an all-in-one program evaluation system with the following
Assesses key aspects of program quality
Reflects research-based and field-tested best practices in early childhood
education and care
Can be aligned with the Head Start Program Performance Standards
Provides reliable, scientifically validated assessment proven in a wide range of
early childhood programs and settings
Can be used as a basis for program accreditation, reporting, monitoring, and
The PQA covers 63 dimensions of program quality in 7 domains: learning environment,
daily routine, adult-child interaction, curriculum planning and assessment, parent
involvement and family services, staff qualifications and development, and program
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.