Explore the reports, books, and other publications produced by the QTurn team and provides a foundation of our work and passion.
Theory and Evidence for Quality Improvement Systems and Lower-Stakes Accountability in the Out-of-School Time Sector
This decade-long project was focused on scaling an education policy innovation called quality improvement systems (QIS). QIS are a type of performance-based accountability system (PBAS) that is guided by a lower-stakes design for QIS participant experience. Lower-stakes designs optimize staff expertise and performance using positive-reinforcing informational incentives that are a good with collaborative and data-driven organizational cultures in the education fields. Place-based QIS designs have been successful and sustained in conditions of public sector outsourcing, mixed public-private networks, and performance measurement that characterize “new public management.”
Moving the needle on moving the needle: Next stage technical guidance for performance based accountability systems in the expanded learning field with a focus on performance levels for the quality of instructional services
Citation: Smith, C., Akiva, T., McGovern, G. and Peck, S.C. (2014), Afterschool quality. New Directions for Youth Development, 2014: 31-44. https://doi.org/10.1002/yd.20111
Continuous quality improvement in afterschool settings: Impact findings from the Youth Program Quality Intervention study
Citation: Akiva, T., Sugar, S.A., Smith, C., Pearson, L.M., Peck, S.C., Denault, A., & Blazevski, J. (2012). Continuous Quality Improvement in Afterschool Settings: Impact findings from the Youth Program Quality Intervention Study.
Understanding the “how” of effective quality improvement: Lessons from the Rhode Island Program Quality Intervention
Citation: Devaney, E., Smith, C., & Wong, K.K. (2012). Understanding the “How” of Quality Improvement: Lessons from the Rhode Island Program Quality Intervention. Afterschool Matters.
Final report on the Palm Beach quality improvement system pilot: Model implementation and program quality improvement in 38 after-school programs
Citation: Smith, C.M., & Akiva, T. (2008). Quality Accountability: Improving Fidelity of Broad Developmentally Focused Interventions.
Pattern-Centered Methodology for Cross-level Effects and Within-Level Interactions
This project explored the potential of pattern-centered methodology to provide a cost-effective approach to addressing s two key challenges for performance data produced through QIS: (1) Effects are produced through cross-level cascade from network to organization to point-of-service to individual learner (e.g., unit of analyses problems for linear models) and (2) point of service level environments (e.g., classrooms) entail a complex integration of higher order interactions (e.g., Cronbach’s hall of mirrors problem of unidentified subgroups). These papers identify a key performance indicator – membership in the low-quality profile for quality of instruction – and then use pattern-centered methods to link low quality instruction to both manager practices and child/youth engagement with instruction.
Measuring youth skills in expanded learning systems: Case study for reliability and validity of the YDEKC skill measures and technical guidance for local evaluators
Citation: Smith, C., Peck, S.C., Denault, A., Blazevski, J. and Akiva, T. (2010), Quality at the Point of Service: Profiles of Practice in After-School Settings. American Journal of Community Psychology, 45: 358-369. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10464-010-9315-z
SEL Performance Standards, Measures, and Benchmarks
This project used a mixed methods approach to identify best practice standards, develop a suite of performance measures, and establish performance benchmarks – for teacher practices and youth skills in the area of social and emotional learning (SEL).
Evaluation of Program Quality and Social and Emotional Learning in American Youth Circus Organization Social Circus Programs
Citation: Smith, C., Roy, L., Peck, S., & Macleod, C. (2017). Evaluation of program quality and social and emotional learning in American Youth Circus Organization social circus programs. Retrieved January 2018 from American Youth Circus Organization website: http://www.americancircuseducators.org/sel/.
Preparing youth to thrive: Methodology and findings from the social and emotional learning challenge
This technical report describes methodology and findings for (1) best-practice SEL standards, (2) validation of a suite of SEL performance measures for use in QIS, and (3) performance benchmarks for out-of-school time programs focused on building SEL skills with vulnerable children/youth.
Evaluation Exemplars from QIS Data
This project includes papers from school-based QIS - 21st CCLC systems in Michigan and Oklahoma; school district-based summer learning programs Seattle, Denver, and St. Paul - to demonstrate the types of performance evaluations that are possible using QIS data.
Policy and Evidence
This project includes papers discuss the challenges for average-effects impact designs social-address covariates to detect effects in afterschool programs. Performance measurement designs are offered as cost-effective alternative source of evidence.
Observational Assessment Methodology
This project includes papers on validation of observational measures of instruction in afterschool, child care, and youth programs.