Strengthening Texas Rising Star Implementation Study

In September 2017, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) partnered with the Children’s Learning Institute, the designated Texas State Center for Early Childhood Development, for the Strengthening Texas Rising Star Implementation Study. The Texas Rising Star (TRS) program is a voluntary, quality-based child care rating and improvement system (QRIS) for child care providers participating in the Texas Workforce Commission’s (TWC) subsidized child care program. The purpose of the study was to strengthen implementation of the QRIS through an implementation study that focused on three broad initiatives:

  • Study the reliability and validity of the TRS assessment system and make recommendations for improvement
  • Develop a sustainable certification and training system for TRS Assessors and Mentors to ensure ratings are consistent across LWDB areas and assessors
  • Test delivery of mentoring protocols aligned with TRS standards, enhancing TRS’s quality improvement capabilities

Following data collection and analysis, CLI developed seven recommendations to strengthen TRS program implementation as an outcome of the study:

  • Recommendation 1: Removing or adjusting low-performing items to improve instrument functioning
  • Recommendation 2: Adjusting the relative weight of categories to be more in line with measure reliability and to more accurately reflect the influence of evidence-based practice on children’s outcomes
  • Recommendation 3: Revising procedures for automatic certification of nationally accredited providers
  • Recommendation 4: Employ a rigorous training and reliability monitoring process to ensure accurate star rating across the state
  • Recommendation 5: Standardizing application and scoring routines to improve program efficiency and accuracy of star assignment
  • Recommendation 6: Establishing a quality improvement framework that uses a developmental approach to ensure providers receive technical assistance and professional development in alignment with their current star ratings
  • Recommendation 7: Continuing exploration of external validity

CLI released the final report, detailing study findings and recommendations to strengthen TRS implementation across Texas, in October 2019.