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Effects of the Pre-K Program of Kalamazoo County Ready 4s on Kindergarten Entry Test Scores: Estimates Based on Data from the Fall of 2011 and the Fall of 2012

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  • Timothy J. Bartik

    ()
    (W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research)

Abstract

This paper uses a regression discontinuity model to examine the effects on kindergarten entrance assessments of the Kalamazoo County Ready 4s (KC Ready 4s) program, a half-day pre-K program for four-year-olds in Kalamazoo County, Michigan. The results are based on test scores and other characteristics of up to 220 children participating in KC Ready 4s, with data coming from both 2011–2012 and 2012–2013 participants in the program. The estimates find consistently statistically significant effects of this pre-K program on improving entering kindergartners’ math test scores. Some estimates also suggest marginally statistically significant effects of KC Ready 4s on vocabulary test scores. No statistically significant effects are found on letter-word identification test scores, due in part to the small available sample size, but some of the point estimates are large. The program does not appear to have large or statistically significant effects in improving children’s behavioral assessments. The overall average effects of KC Ready 4s on the three academic test scores are large, at an effect size of at least 0.52. This is toward the high end of effects found in previous studies of short-term effects of pre-K programs. These estimates also are consistent with program benefits exceeding program costs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in its series Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles with number 13-198.

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Date of creation: Jun 2013
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Handle: RePEc:upj:weupjo:13-198

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Keywords: Pre-K; Preschool; Regression discontinuity; Evaluation of education programs;

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  1. Jens Ludwig & Douglas L Miller, 2007. "Does Head Start Improve Children's Life Chances? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(1), pages 159-208, 02.
  2. James Heckman & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter Savelyev, 2013. "Understanding the Mechanisms through Which an Influential Early Childhood Program Boosted Adult Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2052-86, October.
  3. James J. Heckman & Seong Hyeok Moon & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter A. Savelyev & Adam Yavitz, 2009. "The Rate of Return to the High/Scope Perry Preschool Program," NBER Working Papers 15471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Currie, J. & Thomas, D., 1995. "Does Head Start make a Difference?," Papers 95-10, RAND - Reprint Series.
  5. Timothy J. Barik & William Gormley & Shirley Adelstein, . "Earnings benefits of Tulsa's pre-K program for different income groups," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles tjb2012eer, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  6. Garces, E. & Thomas, D. & Currie, J., 2000. "Longer Term Effects of Head Start," Papers 00-20, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  7. Vivian C. Wong & Thomas D. Cook & W. Steven Barnett & Kwanghee Jung, 2008. "An effectiveness-based evaluation of five state pre-kindergarten programs," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(1), pages 122-154.
  8. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 281-355, June.
  9. 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.
  10. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2004. "Remedial Education and Student Achievement: A Regression-Discontinuity Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 226-244, February.
  11. William T. Gormley, Jr. & Ted Gayer, 2005. "Promoting School Readiness in Oklahoma: An Evaluation of Tulsa's Pre-K Program," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(3).
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