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Peer-reviewed policy briefs & in-depth policy analysis

Policy Analysis

Policy Report – Making the Most of Kindergarten


March 1, 2005 Governance and AccountabilityOutcomesState & LocalWorkforce

This policy report examines academic and social outcomes of half-day versus full-day kindergarten and trends in provision of full-day programs. Recommendations include balancing anticipated gains from expanding kindergarten schedules against cost considerations and developing classroom and teacher support strategies when moving to full-day.

Policy Report – Overlooked Benefits of Prekindergarten


March 1, 2005 Economics and FinanceOutcomesQuality and Curriculum

Studies suggest that prekindergarten can strengthen a child’s commitment and attitude toward school, enhance the parenting skills of children’s parents, and have positive impacts on family relationships. This policy report summarizes research findings about these wider benefits of early education.

Policy Report – Prepared for Kindergarten: What Does “Readiness” Mean?


March 1, 2005 AssessmentOutcomesQuality and Curriculum

This policy report examines key issues for public policy related to school readiness, the relationship between school readiness and other factors in young children’s lives, and challenges in readying children for kindergarten.

Policy Report – Promoting Children’s Social and Emotional Development Through Preschool Education


March 1, 2005 OutcomesQuality and CurriculumSpecial Education

This policy report describes the importance of social and emotional development of children, reviews the evidence that high-quality preschool can promote social and emotional development, and describes characteristics of programs most likely to benefit children.

Policy Report – The Benefits of Prekindergarten for Middle Income Children


March 1, 2005 Economics and FinanceGovernance and AccountabilityOutcomesQuality and CurriculumState & Local

This policy report analyzes what the research says about access to and gains made in high-quality preschool programs by children from middle-income families. Recommendations include expanding publicly funded preschool programs to include middle-income children and strengthening standards for child care and early education programs.

Policy Brief – Class Size: What’s the Best Fit?


December 1, 2004 AccessEconomics and FinanceGovernance and AccountabilityQuality and CurriculumState & Local

This policy brief examines how class size and staff-child ratios affect quality, educational effectiveness, and cost of preschool programs.

Policy Brief – Better Teachers, Better Preschools: Student Achievement Linked to Teacher Qualifications


December 1, 2004 Quality and CurriculumWorkforce

High-quality preschool education depends on effective, high-quality teachers. This brief presents educational requirements for preschool teachers, reviews evidence on the importance of teacher qualifications, and offers policy recommendations.

Policy Brief – Preschool Assessment: A Guide to Developing a Balanced Approach


July 1, 2004 AssessmentOutcomes

This policy brief examines assessment of learning among preschoolers and the trend toward increased standardized testing of young children. The brief offers definitions and applications of assessment concepts and policy recommendations essential to a balanced approach.

Policy Brief – The Universal vs. Targeted Debate: Should the United States Have Preschool for All?


April 1, 2004 AccessEconomics and FinanceGovernance and AccountabilityOutcomesState & LocalUniversal and Targeted

The debate over universal vs. targeted preschool programs is explored in this policy brief. Policy recommendations include a gradual move toward voluntary universal preschool programs with federal matching funds used to encourage states to fund high-quality preschool for all.

Policy Brief – Child Outcome Standards in Pre-K Programs


March 1, 2004 AssessmentOutcomes

This policy brief provides an overview of the extension of the standards movement to preschool programs. It presents the conditions and special considerations necessary for standards to have a positive impact on preschool children and strengthen accountability.