A new RCT study of preschool

From Grover J. “Russ” Whitehurst:

I see these findings as devastating for advocates of the expansion of state pre-k programs.  This is the first large scale randomized trial of a present-day state pre-k program.  Its methodology soundly trumps the quasi-experimental approaches that have heretofore been the only source of data on which to infer the impact of these programs.  And its results align almost perfectly with those of the Head Start Impact Study, the only other large randomized trial that examines the longitudinal effects of having attended a public pre-k program.  Based on what we have learned from these studies, the most defensible conclusion is that these statewide programs are not working to meaningfully increase the academic achievement or social/emotional skills and dispositions of children from low-income families.

There is much more at the link at the Brookings blog, including the major details of the Vanderbilt study, with some very useful pictures.  For the pointer I thank Michelle Dawson.


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