A team of scholars evaluated the effects of a high-quality PreK learning environment on subsequent years of schooling.
The study included the second cohort of children who entered PreK in the 2010-2011 school year in the Tennessee Voluntary Prekindergarten Program, a well-known randomized experiment on PreK effectiveness, which found initial positive effects of PreK attendance, fading out over time. The final sample of the current study, after excluding 434 children with missing data, was composed of 806 students, including 491 PreK participants, and 315 non-participants. The results showed that:
- Neither attending high-quality schools, nor being taught by high-quality teachers, solely demonstrated significant evidence for the persistence of positive PreK effects through 3rd grade.
- However, when children were exposed to both high-quality schools and high-quality teachers, children who participated in PreK programs showed significantly greater achievement in ELA (b = .15, SE = .07, p < .05) and math (b = .17, SE = .07, p < .05), indicating the persistence of the PreK effects.
The results suggest the importance of providing sustained high-quality learning environments to children to continue the positive effects of PreK attendance.
Source (Open Access): Pearman, F. A., Springer, M. P., Lipsey, M., Lachowicz, M., Swain, W., & Farran, D. (2020). Teachers, schools, and pre-K effect persistence: An examination of the sustaining environment hypothesis. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 13(4), 547-573.