Education Researchers Publish Study Showing Effects of Pre-K are Long-Term

Dr. Stephanie Parker begins the class day at Huffman Academy Pre-K by having the students fill in a sentence about the day Dec. 15, 2018. (Source: Julianna Hunter)

Alabama researchers recently have been acknowledged for their work showing that gains made while children are in Alabama’s First Class Pre-K program continue into the students’ elementary years.

Their peer-reviewed article on the topic was published in the July edition of the International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy. It was written by researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama, ThinkData and the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education.

The paper counters some recent studies of long-term impacts that have shown that advantages from pre-K learning diminish of “fadeout” over time.

But the Alabama researchers found no statistical evidence of fadeout through the 7th grade.

Studying children in the third through seventh grades over three years, researchers found that students who attended Alabama’s Pre-K program were more likely to be proficient in reading and math compared to children who did not attend the program.

Earlier this year, Alabama’s First Class Pre-K program was named the country’s highest-quality state pre-kindergarten program for the 14th year in a row. The annual rankings are done by the National Institute for Early Education Research.

BirminghamWatch took a deeper look at the pre-K program. You can read it here: First Class in More Than Name Only: Why Alabama’s Preschool Program Is Best in the Country on National Standards