A National Overview of Grantee CLASS® Scores in 2016

During the 2015–2016 program year, the Office of Head Start (OHS) used the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS®) Pre-K Teacher-Child Observation Instrument during its on-site reviews of grantees. CLASS®-reliable reviewers visited a random sample of preschool classrooms to obtain grantee-level scores. This document provides descriptive statistics of the 2016 grantee-level CLASS® data.

For more information, see: Use of CLASS® in Head Start, available on the ECLKC. Select this link for the PDF version of the report: A National Overview of Grantee CLASS® Scores in 2016 [PDF, 121KB]. Individual grantee CLASS® reports also are available on the ECLKC in the Program Service Reports.

National Statistics by Dimension

In 2016, 319 Head Start grantees received CLASS® reviews. The CLASS® tool has 10 dimensions of teacher-child interactions rated on a 7-point scale, from low to high. The 10 CLASS® dimensions are organized into three domains: Emotional Support, Classroom Organization, and Instructional Support.

  • Emotional Support assesses the degree to which teachers establish and promote a positive climate in their classroom through their everyday interactions.
  • Classroom Organization assesses classroom routines and procedures related to the organization and management of children's behavior, time, and attention in the classroom.
  • Instructional Support assesses the ways in which teachers implement the curriculum to effectively promote cognitive and language development.

OHS CLASS® Descriptive Statistics, 2016
National Grantee-Level Scores by Dimension

Domain Dimension Mean Standard Deviation Minimum Maximum
Emotional Support Positive Climate 5.93 0.36 4.80 6.86
Negative Climate 1.06 0.08 1.00 1.47
Teacher Sensitivity 5.82 0.42 4.33 6.86
Regard for Student Perspectives 5.30 0.50 3.75 6.54
Classroom Organization Behavior
5.95 0.40 4.73 6.96
Productivity 6.05 0.36 4.75 6.93
Instructional Learning Formats 5.20 0.48 3.20 6.20
Instructional Support Concept
2.33 0.54 1.30 4.82
Quality of Feedback 2.80 0.60 1.50 5.32
3.35 0.56 1.70 5.36

National Statistics by Domain

Grantee-level dimension scores are averaged to produce grantee-level domain scores.* Previous large-scale studies of CLASS® have shown that the average preschool classroom scores are higher in the domains of Emotional Support and Classroom Organization than in the domain of Instructional Support.

OHS CLASS® Descriptive Statistics, 2016
National Grantee-Level Scores by Domain

Domain Mean Standard Deviation Minimum Maximum
Emotional Support 6.00 0.29 4.95 6.77
Classroom Organization 5.73 0.35 4.67 6.55
Instructional Support 2.83 0.52 1.62 5.17

*Note: To calculate the Emotional Support domain, subtract the Negative Climate score from 8, add the Positive Climate, Teacher Sensitivity, and Regard for Student Perspective scores, then divide by 4.

Distribution by Domain

The following table and graphs provide additional information on how grantee-level domain scores are distributed nationally.

OHS CLASS® Descriptive Statistics, 2016
National Distribution of Grantee-Level Domain Scores

Domain Lowest 10% Median (50%) Highest 10%
Emotional Support 5.5952 6.04 6.35
Classroom Organization 5.2500 5.76 6.15
Instructional Support 2.2222 2.74 3.53
Emotional Support Classroom Organization Instructional Support


Mean: the average value, calculated by summing all scores and dividing by the number of scores
Median: the middle value, where half the scores are below this point and half are above it 
N: the total number of values in a set
Standard Deviation: a value that shows how much variation exists in a set of data. There are two types of standard deviation (i.e. sample and population). We use the population standard deviation because this dataset includes all 2016 CLASS® scores.

Last Reviewed: April 2017

Last Updated: April 7, 2017