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ERIC Number: ED510328
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
MPS Teachers Link Preschool to Better Performance in Kindergarten. Research Brief. Volume 97, Number 4
Public Policy Forum
This report is the latest in a series of reports investigating the link between high quality early childhood education and economic development. Longitudinal research from national experts indicates that high quality early childhood programs are likely to impart significant social, academic, and economic benefits to the children who participate, especially children of low-income families. A survey of Milwaukee Kindergarten teachers finds nearly all (97%) report they can generally tell early in the school year which children attended preschool and which did not. Teachers also feel that those who attended preschool typically perform much better in Kindergarten and at least somewhat better after that. The survey of 77 teachers of five-year-old Kindergarten (K5) in the Milwaukee public school district (MPS) also finds that most teachers (93%) feel children with preschool or four-year-old Kindergarten (K4) backgrounds are somewhat to much better prepared to enter K5 than their peers. In addition, the majority (83%) feel spending time in preschool or K4 is very important prior to entering K5. These findings hold true for teachers in schools with higher-than-average enrollments of low-income children, as well as teachers in schools with fewer low-income children. Because of the widespread availability of K4 in MPS, nearly half (45%) of the K5 teachers surveyed report that over 80% of their 2008-2009 class had attended preschool or K4. As a result, most K5 students are prepared for Kindergarten at the time they start their K5 year, say teachers. However, teachers in schools with higher levels of poverty are less likely to report high preschool participation rates. Because there appear to be links between poverty and preschool opportunities and between poverty and school readiness, there are implications for public policy. The report concludes that in light of the likely connection between the quality of the early childhood experience and academic achievement in elementary school, policies to enhance the quality of early childhood education in Milwaukee may be an appropriate response by policymakers seeking to improve academic performance in MPS. (Contains 9 charts and 2 tables.)
Public Policy Forum. 633 West Wisconsin Avenue Suite 406, Milwaukee, WI 53203. Tel: 414-276-8240; Fax: 414-276-9962; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education; Kindergarten; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Brico Fund; Greater Milwaukee Foundation; Richard and Ethel Herzfeld Foundation; Joyce Foundation; Faye McBeath Foundation; Rockwell Automation; Weiss Family Foundation; Buffett Early Childhood Fund
Authoring Institution: Public Policy Forum
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin