Assessing the Viability of Staff Surveys as a Measure of Afterschool Program Quality

What are the strengths and limitations of staff surveys as measures of after-school program quality?

In recent years, the development of effective interventions to improve the quality of after-school programs has led to efforts to identify efficient methods of assessing the quality of those interventions. Observation-based systems have been useful, but are prohibitively expensive. Surveys of after-school staff—such as the After-school Program Quality Staff Survey (APQSS) developed by the investigator and his colleagues—are more cost-effective. The APQSS has been refined over the past three years and is already being used widely. With this grant, Naftzger and his colleagues will improve the APQSS by examining its accuracy and consistency, the viability of using it to measure program quality, and the links between the survey measure and student achievement outcomes. For this study, the investigator will use APQSS surveys from 1,001 after-school practitioners completed during the 2008–09 and 2009–10 school years in one eastern state, as well as Youth Program Quality Assessment (YPQA) observational data and student surveys. This grant addresses the need for low-cost, reliable measures of program quality in after-school settings.