Georgia's Pre-K Students Sustain Progress in First Grade

Date Published: 08/22/2017

Students maintain growth in language, math, and general knowledge skills from Pre-K through First Grade.

According to a new report, students in Georgia’s Pre-K Program continue to exhibit positive outcomes through the end of first grade across all domains of learning. The report is part of a multi-year evaluation of Georgia’s Pre-K Program by the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG) at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

“These findings clearly indicate that Georgia’s signature early education program impacts children’s academic development years after they participate in the program,” said Amy M. Jacobs, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL). “The findings validate the important work accomplished by our teachers and assistant teachers every day and confirm that Pre-K provides the strong foundation needed for future learning.”

DECAL commissioned FPG's multi-year, comprehensive evaluation in 2011 at the request of the Georgia General Assembly. The study began with a sample of 1,169 children who participated in Georgia’s Pre-K Program during the 2013-2014 school year and will follow them through their third grade year in 2017-2018.

“This study provides an important opportunity to follow over 1,100 children who attended Georgia’s Pre-K through elementary school.” said Ellen Peisner-Feinberg, principal investigator with the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. “The results indicate that children made significant gains from Pre-K through first grade on most skills that were measured in English as well as the same skills when measured in Spanish for children who were Spanish-speaking dual language learners. However, children’s gains tended to be greater in Pre-K and kindergarten than in first grade, suggesting that this earlier exposure may be especially beneficial.”

Georgia’s Pre-K program is available in all 159 counties of the state. Approximately 60% of Georgia’s four year olds are served by the program. Approximately 50% of Georgia’s counties serve at least 70% of all eligible four year olds in their counties.

“This study provides evidence of the impact of the program,” said Assistant Commissioner for Pre-K and Instructional Supports Susan Adams. “It shows that Georgia’s Pre-K is a beneficial and strong component of the state’s educational system. The study also helps inform decisions we make about policies and strategies that best support all of Georgia’s youngest students.”

read/download the executive summary of
Children's Outcomes Through First Grade: Findings From Year 3 of Georgia's Pre-K Longitudinal Study

read/download the full report

Contact
Ellen Peisner-Feinberg, Senior Research Scientist and Director
The National Pre-K and Early Learning Evaluation Center

UNC's Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute
epeisner.feinberg@unc.edu

919.962.7354

adapted from the State of Georgia's media release