Predicting on-time promotion to and literacy achievement in eighth grade in relation to public prekindergarten in Virginia
This study is the first to examine middle school outcomes for students who attended public prekindergarten in Virginia. Sixty-seven percent of students who attended Virginia public kindergarten in 2005-2006 could be followed into eighth grade in 2013-2014 (N = 77,451). This cohort was examined because it is the first to have VDOE-collected data extending across prekindergarten and into eighth grade. The study focused on on-time promotion and literacy achievement. On-time promotion predicts higher high school graduation rates, and grade retention is costly to both students and funders. Literacy represents a primary focus for prekindergarten. Statistical propensity score weighting techniques were used to estimate equivalent comparison groups between students who had attended a Virginia prekindergarten program and students whose prekindergarten experience was unknown. A host of student and school characteristics known to be related to academic achievement were accounted for in analyses in order to highlight associations just with prekindergarten enrollment. (author abstract)
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