Reframing "quality" in quality rating and improvement systems : a critical analysis
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Quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS) are a state-level policy designed to assess and improve quality in early childhood education and care through rating systems and financial incentives. Current research suggests that QRIS are not meeting their stated goals of increasing access to quality care and improving child outcomes. This report investigates concepts of quality in QRIS by critically analyzing their use of standardized quality measurement scales. It uses postmodern perspectives and cultural relativism theory to argue for an alternate conceptualization of quality that incorporate community context and multiple perspectives. Finally, this report proposes alternative policies that could be used to promote ongoing conversations about quality within a community context.