Are Parents’ Ratings and Satisfaction with Preschools related to Program Features? Mar 19, 2018 By Daniel W. PlayerDaphna BassokAnna J. MarkowitzMichelle Zagardo Are Parents’ Ratings and Satisfaction with Preschools related to Program Features? This study examines whether parents’ overall satisfaction with their child’s early childhood education (ECE) program is correlated with a broad set of program characteristics, including (a) observational assessments of teacher-child interactions; (b) structural features of the program, such as teacher education and class size; (c) practical and convenience factors (e.g., hours, cost); and (d) a measure of average classroom learning gains. It then describes associations between parents’ evaluation of specific program characteristics and externally collected measures of those features. Leveraging rich data from a sample of low-income parents whose 4-year-olds attend publicly funded ECE programs, we find little correspondence between parents’ evaluations of program characteristics and any external measures of those same characteristics. We discuss policy implications, especially in light of recent federal and state informational initiatives, which aim to help families make informed ECE choices. AERA Open Areas of focus Education Daniel W. Player Dan Player is an associate professor of public policy at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. His research focuses on issues in education policy. His work has examined questions such as how teacher ability is recognized and rewarded in schools, whether teacher performance predicts turnover, and how teachers respond to working conditions. Read full bio Daphna Bassok Daphna Bassok is the Batten Bicentennial Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Virginia and associate director of EdPolicyWorks, a collaboration between the School of Education and Human Development and the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. Her research focuses on early childhood education policy and efforts to improve early childhood education at scale, particularly policies aimed at supporting the early childhood education workforce. Read full bio Anna J. Markowitz Michelle Zagardo Related Content Daniel W. Player Measuring the Quality of Teacher-Child Interactions at Scale: The Implications of Using Local Practitioners to Conduct Classroom Observations Research Identifying and Predicting Effective Leader Practices: Examining Principal Experience and Prior Roles Research The importance of leadership in schools is substantiated, and we know that effective leaders call upon certain practices to influence student achievement. What remains less clear is how the professional backgrounds of educators may influence effective leader practice. New Batten and School of Education Program Helps Virginia Schools Respond to the Pandemic News Students in the inaugural class of Ed Policy Associates are collaborating with Virginia policymakers on vital research, and gaining vital experience at the same time. Daphna Bassok Measuring the Quality of Teacher-Child Interactions at Scale: The Implications of Using Local Practitioners to Conduct Classroom Observations Research Within-and Between-Sector Quality Differences in Early Childhood Education and Care Research This study leverages nationally representative data (N ≈ 6,000) to examine the magnitude of quality differences between (a) formal and informal early childhood education and care providers; (b) Head Start, prekindergarten, and other center-based care; and (c) programs serving toddlers and those serving preschoolers. It then documents differences in children’s reading and math skills at age 5 between those who had enrolled in formal and informal settings. Four Batten Professors Ranked as Nation’s Most Influential Education Scholars News Batten School professors Daphna Bassok, Ben Castleman, Sarah Turner and Jim Wyckoff were among 200 scholars nationwide to rank as highly influential in education policy, according to Education Week. How Public Preschool Can Help, and How to Make Sure It Doesn’t Hurt News Congress is considering universal pre-K and subsidies for child care. Batten's Daphna Bassok and other researchers spoke to The New York Times about how these policies can benefit children, and when they can backfire.