Children's Pre-K Outcomes and Classroom Quality in Georgia's Pre-K Program: Findings From the 2013-2014 Evaluation Study
In 2011, the Georgia legislature funded a series of ongoing studies to evaluate Georgia's Pre-K Program. The first study, conducted in 2011-2012, was designed to examine children’s learning outcomes during pre-k, the factors that predict better outcomes, and the quality of children’s experiences in Georgia's Pre-K classrooms based on a random sample of 100 classrooms and 509 children within those classrooms. The second study, conducted in 2012-2013, was designed to investigate the effects of participation in Georgia's Pre-K on children’s school readiness skills, and whether those effects are similar for different groups of children. This study utilized a regression discontinuity design (RDD) to compare children who had and had not attended the program, and included 1,181 children (611 treated and 570 untreated). The third study, begun in 2013-2014, involves a longitudinal design to follow a sample of children from pre-k through third grade, in order to examine the short- and long-term learning outcomes for children who attended Georgia's Pre-K as well as the quality of their preschool and school experiences. The current report focuses on the results of the first year of this longitudinal study, and also includes comparisons with data from the first study, as appropriate.
The purpose of the 2013-2014 Georgia’s Pre-K Program Evaluation was to examine the learning outcomes for children and the quality of their classrooms during pre-k, as the baseline year of the pre-k through third-grade longitudinal study. The primary evaluation questions addressed included:
- What are the learning outcomes for children attending Georgia’s Pre -K Program?
- What factors predict better learning outcomes for children?
- What is the quality of children’s experiences in Georgia’s Pre-K classrooms?