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Pre-K 4 SA evaluation report: Year 1

San Antonio is among a few cities that have opted for investing in preschool education, in addition to state mandates, much like the Boston pre-K program (National League of Cities, 2012). San Antonio has done so through a 1/8 cent increase in local sales tax rates starting April 1, 2013. The program, called Pre-K 4 SA, serves many children who are at risk for falling behind their peers and for lacking in kindergarten readiness. The city of San Antonio, Texas, 7th largest city in the country with a Hispanic majority population, includes 15 school districts serving more than 320,000 students from pre-K to grade 12 (San Antonio EDF, n.d.; U.S. Census Bureau, n.d.). More than 20% of San Antonio families live below the poverty line (U.S. Census Bureau, n.d.). All 15 school districts in San Antonio, provide some type of pre-K experience to at-risk children; however, only six currently provide a full-day pre-K program for children. In 2011, the mayor of San Antonio, Julian Castro, convened a task force to identify the most effective method of improving educational quality in the city; this task force recommended focusing on high quality, full-day pre-K services for 4-year-old city children. Pre-K 4 SA was approved by citizens of San Antonio in November of 2012. One of the three main components of the Pre-K 4 SA program--educating children in created centers (schools)--began during this past school year (2013/14) and served more than 700 children in the first two Pre-K 4 SA centers. During the next two school years (2014/15 and 2015/16), Pre-K 4 SA estimates to serve 1,500-1,700 children annually and reach full capacity (serving 2,000 children annually) by 2016/17 in four centers across the city. Currently, seven of 15 school districts are partners in this effort. As Pre-K 4 SA was in its initial year during the 2013-14 school year, Year 1 of the program evaluation of Pre-K 4 SA included: 1) development of a Pre-K 4 SA theory of change and logic model to understand the intention of the Pre-K 4 SA program, 2) the collection and analysis of teacher-child interaction data in Pre-K 4 SA classrooms to understand the level of interactional quality children experienced in the first year of implementation, 3) the descriptive analysis of Pre-K 4 SA parent engagement data to understand to what degree families of Pre-K 4 SA children were engaged in Pre-K 4 SA, and 4) an analysis of Pre-K 4 SA Teaching Strategies GOLD assessment system (GOLD) data to understand if Pre-K 4 SA is associated with change in scores on six kindergarten readiness outcomes for children. Within this evaluation report the research questions and results are presented for Year 1 of the Pre-K 4 SA program. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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