Does preschool matter? : a comparison among local preschool intervention programs

Guarini-Reyes, Patricia, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Reeve, Ronald, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Thomas, Antoinette, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Gansneder, Bruce, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Pullen, Paige, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia

This study investigated academic outcomes for 1105 alumni students of four different local preschool intervention programs designed for "at-risk" 4 year-olds. Seven years of archival data measuring kindergarten readiness skills (PALS-K) test scores along with 3rd and 5th grade Standards of Learning (SOL) Reading and Math test scores were analyzed. Tests of significance were applied to determine whether children who attended one of the local federally-funded preschool intervention programs demonstrated greater kindergarten readiness skills than those attending school for the first time in kindergarten; and whether students who received the early and follow-on intervention of the Bright Stars program outperformed students from the Head Start and/or No Preschool group in both initial kindergarten readiness skills and in the subsequent elementary school years. Results indicated that students who did not attend any form of preschool earned significantly lower PALS-K mean scores than students from the other three preschool groups. Tests of between-subject variance indicated that children with a primary language of English and classification of African American and Caucasian ethnicity earned significantly higher PALS-K mean test scores than did non-English and Hispanic children. No significant differences were found among the four preschool groups in regards to 3rd grade Reading SOL mean test scores. Significant differences were found for 3rd Grade Math SOL mean test scores (with and without co-variance for PALS-K scores) and 5th grade Reading SOL mean scores, with the Head Start group earning a significantly lower mean test score than both the No Preschool and Private Preschool groups.

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PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Digitization of this thesis was made possible by a generous grant from the Jefferson Trust, 2015.

Thesis originally deposited on 2016-03-14 in version 1.28 of Libra. This thesis was migrated to Libra2 on 2017-03-23 16:35:50.

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