Abbott Preschool Program Longitudinal Effects Study: Fifth Grade Follow-Up

March 2013
by W. Steven Barnett, Kwanghee Jung, Min-Jong Youn, and Ellen C. Frede

The multi-year study of New Jersey’s Abbott Preschool Program shows that children in the state’s most disadvantaged communities who participate in the pre-K program make significant gains in literacy, language, math and science through 4th and 5th grade.

The Abbott Preschool Program Longitudinal Effects Study (APPLES) estimated the effects of preschool education programs on academic skills in language arts and literacy, mathematics, and science based on standardized tests given to all New Jersey children in 4th and 5th grade. The study found persistent gains in all tested subjects on the state assessments, with larger test score gains for children who participated in two years of preschool. In addition, Abbott Preschool Program participation was linked to lower retention rates and fewer children needing special education.