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Articles written by NIEER and published by outside organizations

Journal Articles

The importance of demographic, social, and political context for estimating policy impacts: Comment on “Implementing New York’s Universal Prekindergarten Program.


December 15, 2017

By Barnett, W. S. (2007). Morrissey, Leikes, and Cochran (2007) raise concerns about potential negative effects of state pre-kindergarten (pre-K) on the early care and education system. To put their study in context, I reviewed national demographic and enrollment trends. I found little evidence of negative effects from state pre-K policy. One reason may be…

Why governments should invest in early education.


December 15, 2017

By Barnett, W. S. (2008). The fact that we can improve the learning, development, and life course of children through early educational investments does not mean that there is an economic rationale for such investments.  An  economic  case  for  such  investments  requires  estimates of  their  costs  and  benefits. Fortunately, three rigorous cost-benefit analyses have been…

An effectiveness-based evaluation of five state pre-kindergarten programs.


December 15, 2017

By Wong, V. C., Cook, T. D., Barnett, W. S., & Jung, K. (2008). Since 1980, the number of state pre-kindergarten (pre-K) programs has more than doubled, with 38 states enrolling more than one million children in 2006 alone. This study evaluates how five state pre-K programs affected children’s receptive vocabulary, math, and print awareness skills….

Educational effects of the Tools of the Mind curriculum: A randomized trial.


December 15, 2017

By Barnett, W. S., Jung, K., Yarosz, D. J., Thomas, J., Hornbeck, A., Stechuk, R., & Burns, S. (2008). The effectiveness of the Tools of the Mind (Tools) curriculum in improving the education of 3- and 4-year-old children was evaluated by means of a randomized trial. The Tools curriculum, based on the work of Vygotsky, focuses…

The effects of preschool education: What we know, how public policy is or is not aligned with the evidence base, and what we need to know


December 15, 2017

By Pianta, R. C., Barnett, W. S., Burchinal, M., & Thornburg, K. (2009). It is clear from decades of research that preschool education can have large and lasting positive effects on the lives of participants and can be of meaningful benefit to society. It is just as clear that what preschool can do when implemented under…

And a little child shall lead them—Economic recovery in 3 easy steps.


December 15, 2017

By Barnett, W. S. (2009).  

The promise of preschool: Why we need early education for all.


December 15, 2017

By Barnett, W. S., & Frede, E. C. (2010). It’s fairly well known that high-quality preschool programs can have life-altering impacts on disadvantaged children, including reductions in school dropout and crime, and increased earnings. Not as well known is that terrific preschool programs have important academic and social benefits for middle-class children too. Decades of research…

Benefits of early childhood interventions across the world: (Under) Investing in the very young.


December 15, 2017

By Nores, M. & Barnett, W. S. (2010). This paper reviews the international (non-U.S.) evidence on the benefits of early childhood interventions. A total of 38 contrasts of 30 interventions in 23 countries were analyzed. It focuses on studies applying a quasi-experimental or random assignment. Studies were coded according to: the type of intervention (cash transfer,…

Meta-analysis of the effects of early education interventions on cognitive and social development.


December 15, 2017

By Camilli, G., Vargas, S., Ryan, S., & Barnett, W.S. (2010). There is much current interest in the impact of early childhood education programs on preschoolers and, in particular, on the magnitude of cognitive and affective gains. To address this issue comprehensively, a meta-analysis was conducted for the purpose of synthesizing the outcomes of comparative studies…

Universal and targeted approaches to preschool education in the United States.


December 15, 2017

By Barnett, W. S. (2010). In the United States, enrollments in preschool center-based programs have leveled off at about 75 percent of four-year-olds and 50 percent of three year olds. Nearly all government programs restrict eligibility to children in low-income families, and these families have substantially increased preschool participation rates as a result. However, in the…