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Report: Pre-K 4 SA Participation Linked To Better Test Scores, Attendance Records

Prashant Sharma from Pxhere CC0: http://bit.ly/2ziv3iG

The first cohort of Pre-K 4 SA students had better attendance and received higher third-grade STAAR exam scores than students who were not enrolled in public prekindergarten, according to new data.

ThePre-K 4 SA community impact report compared third-grade students of similar backgrounds with and without early childhood education against former Pre-K 4 SA participants.

On average, the Pre-K 4 SA kids scored 3.8 percentage points higher in reading and 4.5 percentage points higher in math on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR). Also noted was a 31% decline in students needing special education services.  The study indicates that Pre-K 4 SA’s early childhood education had the greatest impact on students from low-income families or who identified as limited English proficient. Of the now 2,000 students enrolled annually, most are from economically disadvantaged black and Hispanic families.

How is Pre-K 4 SA structured and funded? What is the curriculum like and how are special needs taken into consideration? In addition to test results and attendance, what are some other ways to measure the program's success?

Is there evidence that early childhood education could effectively be delivered through a public system? What is the future of Pre-K 4 SA?



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*This interview was recorded on Monday, August 26.

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Kim Johnson is the producer for Texas Public Radio’s live, call-in show The Source. She is a Trinity University alum with bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Spanish, and a Master of Arts Degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.