(wow) Words Of Wonders Level 1067 Answers – By sixth grade, children in Tennessee’s state-funded pre-K program performed worse than their peers who did not participate in the program on measures of academic achievement and behavior, according to a recent study. Credit: Lillian Mongeau / The Hechinger Report
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Children who participated in Tennessee’s state-funded voluntary pre-K program during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years reported improvements in academic achievement, discipline problems, and special education referrals by the end of sixth grade. Performed worse than peers. This trend appeared before the end of third grade and became more pronounced three years later.
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These are the latest findings from a multi-year study that followed 2,990 children in Tennessee schools to look at the long-term impact of the state’s public pre-K program. The results, released earlier this month, could draw more scrutiny of public pre-kindergarten programs and raise questions about whether they are adequately setting up poor children for success.
“At least for poor kids, it turns out that nothing is better than nothing,” said Dale Farran, a professor at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, director of its Peabody Research Institute and one of the study’s authors. “The kind of pre-K that our poor kids go to is not going to be good for them in the long run.”
The latest study is part of a series of reports by Farran and colleagues at Vanderbilt University on Tennessee’s voluntary pre-K program. The team’s previous findings have surprised early childhood experts and advocates, who understand the need for high-quality pre-K to help children, especially children from low-income families, prepare for kindergarten.
The first part of the study of the Tennessee program was published in 2015 by researchers at Vanderbilt University. The results, Farran said, were “terrifying”: The positive effects of the state-funded pre-K program faded and built up by the end of kindergarten. “Slightly negative” at the end of third grade.
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In the most recent study, researchers found that children who did not participate in the program did better academically and behaviorally. They compared two groups of low-income children, a group randomly selected from applicants for placement in a state program and a group of children whose parents took placement. Applied but did not receive. Some children who were not placed in the program participated in Head Start, center-based child care, or home-based care.
By the end of sixth grade, children in the study who were randomly selected to participate in a pre-K program were more likely to be referred for special education services than their peers who did not secure placement. Students who participated in state pre-K were more likely to have discipline problems than students who did not participate in the program. Graduates of the state program also performed poorly on state academic tests.
Previous research shows that the quality of teachers and the elementary school children attend after pre-K can enhance or weaken the long-term effects of pre-K. But the pre-K graduates and students in the control group of this study experienced similar quality schools and teachers, Faran said, suggesting that school quality does not explain the negative effects.
Faran said the latest findings should be “more alarming” than previous studies of this group of children, because the negative effects became more pronounced as the children got older. “We choose to implement [pre-K] as a policy and if it doesn’t work, we have to think about what we do with low-income families to support them and their children. Should they do it. Better in school?
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The quality of state pre-K programs may be partially responsible for the negative results. Although Tennessee meets nine of 10 quality benchmarks set by the National Institute for Early Education Research, institute director Steven Barnett previously said those standards are minimum guidelines; In practice, not all classrooms meet these standards. A 2014 study, for which Farran was the principal investigator, found that when classrooms across the state were analyzed using a widely accepted research tool, there was “huge variation” in their quality scores. Most, 85 percent of the classrooms studied, scored below the “good” quality level.
In a 2015 article in The New York Times, Farran suggested that Tennessee’s program lacked a “coherent approach” to pre-K, and left its teachers “to their own devices” to drop pre-K, which may have contributed. . The state later took steps to improve the quality of its programs after the problems discovered by the researchers.
By the end of sixth grade, children in the study who were randomly selected to participate in a state pre-K program were more likely to be referred to special education services than their peers who were placed in the program.
During the 2020-21 school year, 44 states, the District of Columbia and Guam funded public pre-K programs. But according to the National Institute for Early Education Research, most spend too little per child to support high-quality, full-day pre-K programs.
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Underfunding, poor quality, and lack of support in elementary schools can lead to poor outcomes after pre-K.
Recent findings from Vanderbilt University add to the controversy in early education research about the benefits of state-funded pre-K. Several studies have found that providing 4-year-olds with early learning opportunities has positive, long-term effects. Research tracking children over time has linked high-quality pre-K to better employment, education and health outcomes as adults, although some of the programs studied had specific aspects such as home visits and social services. But other studies have found that pre-K has modest or disappointing effects on children’s outcomes.
Farran said more research is needed on state pre-K programs. He encouraged other researchers to examine familial traits, as he and his colleagues had done. Other studies looking at long-term pre-K effects might compare children who didn’t go to pre-K with those who didn’t, Faran said, of parents who are knowledgeable or motivated to seek out pre-K programs. .
“We argue that parent motivation is a critical factor in determining how effective your pre-K program is,” Farran said. “In our study, all parents were equally motivated because they all applied [for a pre-K space].”
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“The kind of pre-K that our poor kids go to is not going to be good for them in the long run.” Dale Farran, Peabody College at Vanderbilt University
Despite the disappointing findings in Tennessee, Farran said the state’s program has some positives, especially when it comes to supporting teachers. The program pays pre-K teachers the same as K-12 teachers and offers benefits such as health insurance and a retirement plan, a rarity for early education teachers outside the public school system.
However, the negative results of Tennessee’s voluntary pre-K program suggest a need to rethink pre-K, Farran said. The poor results may be related to the way America educates pre-K and young children.
Ideally, she said, pre-K should include more play, with teachers often interacting with students and encouraging them to explore their interests. Based on years of observation and classroom visits, however, she worries that pre-K has too much whole-group instruction, strict behavior controls, time spent outdoors and too much time in which teachers spend time with children. They talk instead of listening. . .
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“[We] let ourselves get into the idea that these kids need a lot of educational instruction.” Fran said. “And I say, no, it’s quite the opposite. What you want to give poor kids is care and a sense of success.”
We’ll explore more findings from this study and share excerpts from our interview with Dale Farran next week.
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