These numbers talk! Who’s listening?

by Jacob Kirn

The choice to defund preschool programs contradicts an increasing number of studies highlighting their benefits. Many districts that have adopted strong pre-kindergarten programs are now noticing profound achievement in kids who have participated in them.

In one Maryland school district, students in the full-day pre-K program had consistently higher academic performance than those in half-day pre-K or without preschool.

The school district’s study found:

    • Full-day pre-K students were 50% more likely to meet a reading benchmark
    • Full-day pre-K African American students were 94% more likely to meet a reading benchmark
    • Full day pre-K students required half as many special education services per week

Another study in Tennessee, completed earlier this year, tracked two groups of students’ progress: one group was enrolled in state funded pre-K and the other was turned away due to space constraints. The results were much the same. Those in the pre-K program gained:

  • 82% more on early literacy and math skills
  • 145% more in vocabulary
  • 109% more in comprehension

What can make pre-K even stronger?
Parents as Teachers, in combination with pre-K, virtually closes the achievement gap.

Who doesn’t want that?

Jacob Kirn is a journalism major at the University of Missouri-Columbia and an intern at Parents as Teachers.