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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

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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File URL: http://research.upjohn.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1215&context=up_workingpapers
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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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  1. Garces, E. & Thomas, D. & Currie, J., 2000. "Longer Term Effects of Head Start," Papers 00-20, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  2. Jens Ludwig & Douglas L. Miller, 2005. "Does Head Start Improve Children's Life Chances? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design," NBER Working Papers 11702, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Bartik, Timothy J. & Gormley, William & Adelstein, Shirley, 2012. "Earnings benefits of Tulsa's pre-K program for different income groups," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1143-1161.
  6. Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 1993. "Does Head Start Make a Difference?," NBER Working Papers 4406, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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," Working Papers 200936, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  8. 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).
  9. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2002. "Remedial Education and Student Achievement: A Regression-Discontinuity Analysis," NBER Working Papers 8918, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2009. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," NBER Working Papers 14723, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
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