Saturday, June 2, 2018

Pre-K and Kindergarten in Predicting Future Academic Success

The Center for Public Education’s new report looks at the effect of various combinations of pre-kindergarten and kindergarten on third grade reading skills -- a key predictor of future academic success.

Key findings include:

Pre-k has significant, persistent benefits. Research has consistently shown that quality pre-kindergarten programs benefit not only individual students, but school districts and communities. 

Full-day kindergarten has significant benefits. The benefits of full-day kindergarten are clear. Research consistently shows that students who attend full-day kindergarten make greater academic gains and are less likely to be retained in the early grades than students who attend half-day kindergarten.

A combination of pre-k and full-day kindergarten is best; but a combination of pre-k and half-day kindergarten is better than full-day kindergarten alone. Pre-k and full-day kindergarten presents the best combination.

Mother’s education level was the exception. Pre-k and half-day kindergarten students whose mothers had only a high school diploma had 3rd grade reading skills that were slightly or no higher than their peers who attended full-day kindergarten alone.

These findings do not take program quality into consideration. It’s reasonable to infer that the impact of high-quality pre-k would be even greater. 

Early childhood education should be a collaboration between providers, schools, school boards, and the community.

Hull, J. (2012). Starting out right. Educational Leadership, 69(5), 6-9.

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