From the website, it seems that the AMS Public Policy Committee has been renamed the Montessori Public Policy Committee (MPCC) “to better reflect the action of greater inclusivity with representation from AMI/USA and MACTE, and with the future intent to include more Montessori organizations in its membership. ” Now, a subcommittee of the MPPC has launched the website as a clearinghouse for state organizations. The site is hosted by Montessori Schools of Maryland and the Association of Illinois Montessori Schools.
Montessori Forward launches with an issue many state organizations are wrestling with: QRIS, or Quality Rating and Improvement System. QRIS is a star rating system for childcare and early education centers, and the rating rubrics, while well-intentioned and safety-oriented, often miss what’s great about Montessori and penalize for large group sizes and the absence of dress-up, fantasy play, plush toys, praise and rewards, and conventional teacher certification.
Montessori organizations in several states are working with regulators to develop Montessori-friendly ratings systems and incorporate Montessori training into certification standards. Montessori Forward links organizations and collects information so states can share their work and successes.
The new site has lots of information and resources. There’s a lot more to say about QRIS and the ratings systems it uses, so stay tuned!