Author ORCID Identifier


Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Charol Shakeshaft


The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between prekindergarten classroom quality indicators and student achievement at the prekindergarten level. Pre-existing data on prekindergarten classroom quality measures and student achievement was utilized. Quality indicators were assessed using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) (Pianta, La Paro, & Hamre, 2008) and student achievement was measured by the end of year results on the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) (Invernizzi, Meier, Swank, & Juel, 2004) and the Bracken School Readiness Assessment end of year results (Bracken, 2007).

A quantitative ex post facto correlational research design was employed to identify relationships between program quality and student achievement among the prekindergarten classrooms. An ex post facto design was chosen because the circumstances of conducting the research did not allow for an experiment.

The classrooms in this study site were rated overall as high in quality. The findings indicate that quality in classrooms established by high scores in the Emotional Support and Classroom Organizational domains, paired with scores in the middle to high range in the Instructional Support domain have no statistical correlation between high achievement related to PALS and Bracken scores, with the exception of one subgroup. For students that receive Public Assistance, there was a statistical significance in their end results for PALS and Bracken, indicating a positive relationship between classroom quality and student achievement.

It is vitally important to develop prekindergarten programs that can be easily replicated. Replicating successful programs would save time, money, and effort. Practitioners can increase and standardize structural quality factors such as length of day, credentialing requirements of staff, and the maintenance of an organized system of in-service training and systematic curriculum oversight, while ensuring the presence of process quality, This focus will create prekindergarten programs that offer the most at risk students the highest quality possible.


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