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Head Start Quality Research Centers Consortium II (QRC), 2001-2006

Project Overview

The Head Start Bureau and the ACYF Commissioner's Office of Research and Evaluation awarded eight cooperative agreements under the Head Start Quality Research Center (QRC) Consortium to promote the school readiness of preschool children in Head Start. These five-year grants will fund partnerships between academic researchers and Head Start programs designed to improve child outcomes in the areas of literacy, social-emotional development, and other domains of school readiness, through enhancements to curriculum, teacher training and mentoring, parent involvement and assessment practices. Research teams will implement and evaluate their interventions with Head Start program partners in an initial site, then replicate the successful interventions to additional sites.

About the Head Start Quality Research Data Coordination Center (DCC)

The Head Start Quality Research Center Data Coordination Center (DCC) was established to maximize the systematic collection of cross-site data from the Head Start Quality Research Centers Consortium. The purpose of the consortium is to develop, test, and refine interventions to improve the quality of school readiness abilities in Head Start preschool children. Throughout the period of the cooperative agreements, the DCC provides pre- and post-intervention data collection and analysis of a core set of cross-site measures of program quality, child outcomes, and parent involvement and satisfaction on a sub-sample at each site.

Data collection includes child assessments, parent and staff interviews, and direct classroom observation in fall and spring of each program year. In Year 1, sites used pilot pre-post designs, with experimental designs in Year 2. Data on core measures is supplemented by site-specific measures, and validation studies are proposed.

The research effort by the DCC is designed to build on current instruments and findings from FACES regarding classroom quality and practices and parent and child outcomes with input from the HSQRC membership.

The DCC provides a mechanism for comparing the findings of the eight HSQRCs to the national FACES sample and a pooled control group against which intervention findings can be compared. It also provides a mechanism for comparing site-specific instruments to the FACES instruments.

Team Members

QRC II

Federal Staff:

Laura Hoard, Ph.D.
Society for Research in Child Development Executive Branch Fellow
Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Administration for Children and Families, DHHS
370 L’Enfant Plaza, SW 7th Floor West
Washington, DC 20447

Principal Investigators:

Jeanne Brooks-Gunn
Virginia & Leonard Marx Professor
of Child Development And Education
Co-Director, Center for Children & Families
Teachers College, Columbia University
Box 39, Room 252 Thorndike Hall
525 West 120th Street
New York, NY 10027
Phone: (212) 678-3904
Fax: (212) 678-3673
Email: jb224@columbia.edu

Sharon Lynn Kagan
Virginia & Leonard Marx Professor
of Early Childhood & Family Policy
Co-Director, Center for Children & Families
Teachers College, Columbia University
Box 226, Room 371 Grace Dodge Hall
525 West 120th Street
New York, NY 10027
Phone: (212) 678-8255
Fax: (212) 678-3160
Email: sharon.kagan@columbia.edu

Nancy Clark-Chiarelli
Principal Investigator
Education Development Center, Inc.
55 Chapel Street
Middlesex County
Newton, MA 02458
Phone: (617) 618- 2119
Fax: (617) 244-3609
Email: nclark@edc.org

Lawrence Schweinhart
Research Division Chair
High/Scope Educational Research Foundation
600 North River Street
Ypsilanti, MI 48198-2898
Phone: (734) 485-2000 ext. 256
Fax: (734) 485-0704
Email: lschweinhart@highscope.org

Marijata C. Daniel Echols
Senior Research Scientist
High/Scope Educational Research Foundation
600 North River Street
Ypsilanti, MI 48198-2898
Phone: (734) 485-2000 ext. 275
Fax: (734) 485-0704
Email: mdaniel-echols@highscope.org

Martha Abbott-Shim
Principal Investigator
Quality Counts
4 Executive Park East #318
Atlanta, GA 30329
Phone: (404) 327-9696
Fax: (404) 327-9991
Email: masqcounts@aol.com

Richard Lambert
Research Director
Department of Educational Administration, Research and Technology
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28223-0001
Phone: (704) 547-3735
Fax: (704) 510-6484
Email: rglamber@email.uncc.edu

Janet Fischel
Department of Pediatrics
T11-04 Health Sciences Center
State University of New York at Stony Brook
Stony Brook, NY 11794-8111
Phone: (631) 444-7870
Fax: (631) 444-2894
Email: Janet.Fischel@notes.cc.sunysb.edu

Donna Bryant
Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center
UNC-CH, CB 8180
105 Smith Level Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8180
Phone: (919) 966-4523
Fax: (919) 966-7532
Email: bryant@unc.edu

Janis Kupersmidt
Department of Psychology
240 Davie Hall
UNC-CH, CB 3270
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3270
Phone: (919) 962-3988
Fax: (919) 962-2537
Email: jkuper@email.unc.edu

Ellen Peisner-Feinberg
Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center
UNC-CH, CB 8180
105 Smith Level Rd.
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8180
Phone: (919) 962-7534
Fax: (919) 966-7532
Email: ellenpf@unc.edu

Hill Walker
Co-Director
Institute on Violence and Destructive Behavior
1265 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1265
Phone: (541) 346-3591
Fax: (541) 346-2594
Email: hwalker@oregon.uoregon.edu

Edward G. Feil
Research Scientist
Oregon Research Institute
1715 Franklin Blvd.
Eugene, OR 97403
Phone: (541) 484-2123
Fax: (541) 484-1108
Email: edf@ori.org

Julia Mendez
Principal Investigator
Department of Psychology
Temple University
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Phone: (215) 204-4924
Email: jmendez@temple.edu

Jean Ann Linney
Professor and Chair
Department of Psychology
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208
Phone: (803) 777-6177 or (803) 777-4263
Email: linney@sc.edu

Contractor Staff:
Nicholas Zill
Project Director (PMC)
Westat, Inc.
TA2134
1500 Research Boulevard
Rockville MD 20850
Phone: (301) 294-4448
Fax: (301) 294-2030
Email: zilln1@westat.com

Ruth Hubbell McKey
Co-Project Director (PMC)
Xtria, LLC (formerly Ellsworth Associates, Inc.)
8045 Leesburg Pike, Suite 400
Vienna, VA 22182
Phone: (703) 821-6137
Email: rhmckey@xtria.com

Gary Resnick
Westat, Inc.
TA2134
1500 Research Boulevard
Rockville MD 20850
Phone: (301) 294-4314
Fax: (301) 294-3992
Email: resnicg1@westat.com

DCC:

Nicholas Zill
Project Director (PMC)
Westat, Inc.
TA2134
1500 Research Boulevard
Rockville MD 20850
Phone: (301) 294-4448
Fax: (301) 294-2030
Email: zilln1@westat.com

Ruth Hubbell McKey
Co-Project Director (PMC)
Xtria, LLC (formerly Ellsworth Associates, Inc.)
8045 Leesburg Pike, Suite 400
Vienna, VA 22182
Phone: (703) 821-6137
Email: rhmckey@xtria.com

Gary Resnick
Westat, Inc.
TA2134
1500 Research Boulevard
Rockville MD 20850
Phone: (301) 294-4314
Fax: (301) 294-3992
Email: resnicg1@westat.com

Research Partners Overview

Columbia University, NY: Sharon Lynn Kagan and Jeanne Brooks-Gunn
Using Assessment to Improve School Readiness and Head Start Program Quality

In partnership with programs in Stamford and Waterbury, CT, the research team will implement an innovative observational assessment system for Head Start children, classrooms and programs, and provide the supports and resources necessary to use data from the assessments to improve classroom and program practice and child outcomes. Collaboration with the Connecticut Department of Education on school readiness outcomes is a key feature.

Education Development Center, MA: Nancy Clark-Chiarelli and David K. Dickinson
A Systematic Approach to Fostering Language and Literacy Development

Collaborating with programs in Waltham and Boston, MA, the researchers will develop, implement and assess the Program-Delivered Literacy Through Inservice Training (PD-LIT) to enable programs to create their own self-improvement programs with a focus on language and literacy development. The intervention features intensive professional development activities involving both QIC staff and mentor teachers from the program.

High/Scope Educational Research Foundation, MI: Lawrence J. Schweinhart and Marijata C. Daniel-Echols
Achieving Head Start Effectiveness through Intensive Curriculum Training

This intervention, based in programs in Oakland County, MI, will provide intensive training in the use of the evidence-based High/Scope curriculum framework and verification that the curriculum is being implemented in Head Start classrooms.

Quality Counts, Inc., GA: Martha Abbott-Shim and Richard Lambert
Supporting Children's Individualized Learning in Head Start

Continuing their collaboration with programs in Jefferson County, AL, and in Gainesville, GA and adding new partners in Jackson and Brunswick, GA, the research team plans to implement a mentoring intervention. This intervention supports individualized learning experiences for children in Head Start that have been shown to promote classroom quality and children's school readiness.

State University of New York at Stony Brook: Janet E. Fischel
Evidence-based Emergent Literacy Approaches for Head Start

Through a partnership with a grantee in Suffolk County, Long Island, NY, this intervention will compare leading curricula used in Head Start programs that aim to enhance emergent literacy and language skills in terms of improved classroom practice and child outcomes.

University of North Carolina: Donna Bryant, Janis Kupersmidt, and Ellen Peisner-Feinberg
Socioemotional Interventions to Enhance School Readiness

Working with programs in Person County and Roxboro, NC, the research team will implement an evidence-based intervention program to reduce disruptive behavior and improve classroom functioning. Moving from a very intensive intervention provided by clinical consultants tested via the Head Start Mental Health Research Consortium, this modification will develop and evaluate a self-sustaining, program based intervention suitable for dissemination through the Training and Technical Assistance network.

University of Oregon: Hill Walker, Edward Feil, Annemieke Golly, and Herbert Severson
Head Start Adaptation of First Step to Success: Preparing Children for Social/Emotional Success at School

In partnership with grantees in Lane County and other grantees in Oregon, the team proposes to adapt the First Steps to Success early intervention program, originally developed for Kindergarten children, to help preschool children at risk for school problems become better prepared for the social and emotional challenges of school.

Temple University (grant originally at University of South Carolina 2001-2004): Julia Mendez and Jean Ann Linney
The Companion Curriculum: Connecting Head Start Parents and Teachers to Promote Early Learning and Development

Based on the premise that enhancing parent involvement is crucial to preparing children for school, this research team is working with programs in Columbia, SC and surrounding counties to implement a home-based learning curriculum for parents and children, supplemented by parent-child centers within individual classrooms.

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