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ERIC Number: ED481261
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Aug
Pages: 129
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Report of the Findings from the Early Childhood Study: 2001-02.
Henry, Gary T.; Henderson, Laura W.; Ponder, Bentley D.; Gordon, Craig S.; Mashburn, Andrew J.; Rickman, Dana K.
The Georgia Prekindergarten Program was established in 1993 to provide the state's 4-year-olds with high-quality preschool experiences. The Early Childhood Study followed the development of young children attending programs funded through the Prekindergarten (Pre-K) Program or Head Start and children eligible for the Pre-K program attending private preschools or child care centers; ascertained the quality of their experiences; and estimated the effects of the Prekindergarten Program from preschool entry through kindergarten entry. Study measures included direct assessments at the beginning and end of preschool and the beginning of kindergarten, ratings by preschool and kindergarten teachers, surveys of teachers and parents, and classroom observations. Of the 630 children included in the original study, 466 remained at the beginning of kindergarten. Among the major findings is that Georgia's 4-year-olds began preschool scoring below national norms on three of the four norm-referenced assessments of language development and cognitive skills. Children attending preschool in Georgia as well as those attending the Pre-K program made gains of at least four points against national norms on all four standardized assessments from preschool entry until kindergarten entry. Head Start and Pre-K offered the highest quality levels, and Pre-K offered high quality services most consistently. The Pre-K teachers had higher education levels than those in other programs. After family and individual characteristics were taken into account, Pre-K children had caught up with children from private preschools on all five directly assessed skills and were significantly better prepared for kindergarten than Head Start children on three of five directly assessed language and cognitive measures. Kindergarten teachers rated Pre-K children higher than Head Start children on readiness, academic, and communication skills and higher than private preschool children on social behaviors. Those Pre-K children from high poverty households demonstrated skills equivalent to those of Head Start children on four of six language and cognitive assessments at preschool entry, but they were significantly better prepared for kindergarten on six of eight directly assessed language and cognitive measures. Head Start teachers systematically rated the readiness of their children higher than direct assessments would support and high relative to other preschool teachers. Summer learning loss between the end of preschool and the beginning of kindergarten was substantial, especially for African American children. (Contains 42 references.) (KB)
Georgia State University, Education Policy Group, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, 140 Decatur Street, 12 Urban Life Building, Atlanta, GA 30303. Tel: 404-651-2343; Fax: 404-651-3524; Web site: For full text:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Georgia
What Works Clearinghouse Reviewed: Does Not Meet Evidence Standards
IES Cited: ED506156