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Academic performance of subsequent schools and impacts of early interventions: Evidence from a randomized controlled trial in Head Start settings

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  • Zhai, Fuhua
  • Raver, C. Cybele
  • Jones, Stephanie M.
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    Abstract

    The role of subsequent school contexts in the long-term effects of early childhood interventions has received increasing attention, but has been understudied in the literature. Using data from the Chicago School Readiness Project (CSRP), a cluster-randomized controlled trial conducted in Head Start programs, we investigate whether the intervention had differential effects on academic and behavioral outcomes in kindergarten if children attended high- or low-performing schools subsequent to the preschool intervention year. To address the issue of selection bias, we adopt an innovative method, principal score matching, and control for a set of child, mother, and classroom covariates. We find that exposure to the CSRP intervention in the Head Start year had significant effects on academic and behavioral outcomes in kindergarten for children who subsequently attended high-performing schools, but no significant effects on children attending low-performing schools. Policy implications of the findings are discussed.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Children and Youth Services Review.

    Volume (Year): 34 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 5 ()
    Pages: 946-954

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:34:y:2012:i:5:p:946-954

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/childyouth

    Related research

    Keywords: Head Start; Randomized controlled trial; School performance; Principal score matching;

    References

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    1. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance & Masterov, Dimitriy V., 2005. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," IZA Discussion Papers 1675, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Currie, J. & Thomas, D., 1995. "Does Head Start make a Difference?," Papers 95-10, RAND - Reprint Series.
    3. Jennifer Hill & Jane Waldfogel & Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, 2002. "Differential effects of high-quality child care," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(4), pages 601-627.
    4. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Propensity Score Matching Methods for Non-experimental Causal Studies," NBER Working Papers 6829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Justine S. Hastings & Jeffrey M. Weinstein, 2007. "Information, School Choice, and Academic Achievement: Evidence from Two Experiments," NBER Working Papers 13623, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 1998. "School Quality and the Longer-Term Effects of Head Start," NBER Working Papers 6362, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2006. "Large Sample Properties of Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(1), pages 235-267, 01.
    8. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-77, September.
    9. Reynolds, Arthur J. & Magnuson, Katherine A. & Ou, Suh-Ruu, 2010. "Preschool-to-third grade programs and practices: A review of research," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1121-1131, August.
    10. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2002. "Simple and Bias-Corrected Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Patrick Royston, 2005. "Multiple imputation of missing values: Update of ice," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 5(4), pages 527-536, December.
    12. David Deming, 2009. "Early Childhood Intervention and Life-Cycle Skill Development: Evidence from Head Start," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(3), pages 111-34, July.
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