An Examination of the Relationship Between Pre-K Programming and Third-Grade Math and Reading Achievement Outcomes in Oregon

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Drennen, Maria K.
Early Childhood Education; Education
thesis / dissertation description
This study examined the relationship between preschool program type, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status and measures of third-grade academic achievement outcomes, as measured by the standardized mathematics and English Language Arts assessments administered to third-grade students in Oregon. The study participants were fourth-grade students from a single participating school district in the Southern region of Oregon. Parents/guardians voluntarily consented to participation and provided a completed questionnaire specifying their child’s preschool program type as attended the majority of the time (nine months or more) in the year prior to Kindergarten. Required statewide assessment in Mathematics and English Language Arts occur in third-grade. Therefore, post-hoc scores from the previous year’s assessment for the participants were utilized. A one-way ANOVA and independent samples t-test were employed to determine the difference between group means in order to answer the research questions, “What is the relationship between students’ Pre-K program type, race/ethnicity, family SES, and their third-grade Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium scores for both mathematics and English Language Arts?” The results of this study point to differences in mean scores between preschool program types most notably in the area of mathematics, in which students whose preschool program type ‘In-Home Care’ outperformed their peers attending ‘Head Start’ or ‘Other’ types of programs. Additionally, students whose race/ethnicity was coded by the Oregon Department of Education as ‘White’ outperformed their peers from all other race/ethnicity categories combined under the broad umbrella of ‘Other’ in both measures of academic achievement.