There is a strong and politically bipartisan push to increase access to government-funded pre-K. This is based on a premise that free and available pre-K is the surest way to provide the opportunity for all children to succeed in school and life, and that it has predictable and cost-effective positive impacts on children's academic success. The evidence to support this predicate is weak. There is only one randomized trial of a scaled-up state pre-K program with follow-up into elementary school. Rather than providing an academic boost to its participants as expected by pre-K advocates, achievement favored the control group by 2nd and 3rd grade. It is, however, only one study of one state program at one point in time. Do the findings generalize? The present study provides new correlational analyses that are relevant to the possible impact of state pre-K on later academic achievement. (author abstract)
Does state pre-K improve children's achievement?
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