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Child Outcomes of the Arkansas Better Chance Program in Kindergarten and First Grade Jason T. Hustedt, W. Steven Barnett, & Kwanghee Jung National Institute for Early Education Research Rutgers University
Acknowledgements This research is funded by the State of Arkansas and the Pew Charitable Trusts. Thanks to Leanne Whiteside-Mansell, Yvonne Bradshaw, Paul Lazenby, Tonya Russell, Ellen Frede, and Amanda Colon.
Studies of State-Funded Pre-K • As more children are served, important to understand effects that programs produce • Until recently, state-funded pre-K programs have not been very intensively studied • NIEER evaluations of programs in 8 states, in partnership with local early childhood experts • Longitudinal studies of high-quality programs in AR and NJ
Arkansas Better Chance Study • Data from Fall 2005 the starting point for a 5-year longitudinal study continuing through Spring 2010 • Initial sample of more than 1,900 children in two cohorts • ABC classroom data from Year 1; child assessment data annually
Classroom Measures • Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Revised (ECERS-R): Overall quality • Support for Early Literacy Assessment (SELA): Practices that support early language and literacy • Preschool Classroom Mathematics Inventory (PCMI): Materials/methods used to support math skills
Classroom Results (N = 68) • Mean ECERS-R score = 5.26 of a possible 7; a score of 5 indicates good quality • Mean SELA score = 3.28 of a possible 5; a score of 3 indicates fair/mediocre quality • Mean PCMI score = 2.37 of a possible 5, an indication of limited quality
Child Assessment Measures • Vocabulary knowledge: Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, 3rd Edition (PPVT-III) • Math skills: Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement, 3rd Edition, Subtests 5, 6, 10 (WJ-III) • Early literacy: Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (Pre-CTOPPP) or WJ-III Subtests 1, 13, 21
Child Outcomes: Vocabulary • At K entry, ABC children scored significantly higher than non-ABC children • At the end of K, ABC children scored significantly higher than non-ABC children in pooled analysis • At the end of 1st grade, a non-significant trend for ABC children in Cohort 1 to score higher than non-ABC children (p = .066)
Child Outcomes: Applied Problems • At K entry, ABC children scored significantly higher than non-ABC children • At the end of K, no significant differences between ABC and non-ABC children • At the end of 1st grade, a trend for ABC children in Cohort 1 to score higher than non-ABC children (p = .054)
First Grade Mathematics Measures • ABC children scored significantly higher than non-ABC children on Calculation • No measurable difference between ABC and non-ABC children on Math Fluency • ABC children scored significantly higher than non-ABC children on Broad Math Battery
Child Outcomes: Early Literacy • At K entry, ABC children scored significantly higher than non-ABC children • At the end of K, no measurable differences • At the end of 1st grade, ABC children in Cohort 1 scored significantly higher than non-ABC children on Letter-Word ID but not Word Attack
Interpreting the Results • Positive impacts of ABC pre-K on vocabulary, math, and early literacy • Comparisons with RDD results suggest that there is some selection bias in longitudinal sample • Good overall classroom quality
Future Work • The longitudinal study will continue until Spring 2010 (4th grade for C1, 3rd grade for C2) • Tracking the effects of ABC over time, using measures of language, math, early literacy • Additional data on grade retention, special education placements