Universal Pre K Gains

Universal Pre K Gains

Recently, the city hired an outside firm to evaluate its Pre-K gains, and  this article in Chalkbeat details some takeaways. It does not list how the firm did its assessments of the kids, but notes that it was done in conjunction with NYU. 

The report has a series of interesting findings:

  • 70% of the children were at or above national averages in early literacy.
  • 62%  of the children were at or above national averages in early math skills.

According to the study:

— All racial and ethnic subgroups showed better-than-expected growth on measures of pre-writing skills, compared to national norms. Asian students almost doubled their expected growth.

— Hispanic students start pre-K behind their peers in letter recognition, but gained three-and-a-half more months of learning than expected. While black and Asian students started on par with their white peers, they did not meet expectations for growth in letter recognition.

— White children entered school outperforming all other racial and ethnic groups in early math skills. But Asian and Hispanic children grew more than expected, while black children grew slightly less than expected.

— Children whose primary language at home is not English entered school behind their peers in all subjects and remained behind them. However, they made better-than-expected gains in all areas.

Please see Chalkbeat for the full post

The study lacked a control group, although the national averages they reference functioned as a control group.  The study didn’t furnish statistics on how many kids started at or above national averages in early literacy or math skills.  

The article about the study also did not specify results by community based UPK versus UPK that is directly connected to city schools. However, a related article says this about the Universal Pre K sites: 

A New York City Department of Education review of more than 500 school sites found that the vast majority — 77 percent — met international standards for effective programs. A parent survey released in February 2016 also yielded glowing reviews: 63 percent of the parents described their child’s program as “excellent,” and another 29 percent said it was “good.”

Here’s the link to the Pre K Gains post in Chalkbeat.  http://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/ny/2016/09/28/study-students-in-new-york-citys-pre-k-for-all-program-show-learning-gains/

In a related article, Chancellor Fariña notes an anecdote: 

“You’re finding that the kids are coming to kindergarten almost with a swagger: ‘Oh, I know this building,’” Fariña told Chalkbeat on Wednesday. “That sense of self-confidence starts earlier and allows us — not to do more academics, per se, but to get more engaged in learning in a way that’s meaningful.”

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