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Child Outcomes of the Arkansas Better Chance Prekindergarten Program in Kindergarten and First Grade


April 1, 2009

This presentation, presented by NIEER researchers Jason T. Hustedt, W. Steven Barnett, and Kwanghee Jung at the 2009 Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, focuses on early results from a 5-year longitudinal study of the state-funded Arkansas Better Chance (ABC) prekindergarten program. The goal of this study is to estimate the effects of state-funded pre-K in Arkansas on children’s language, mathematics, and literacy skills through fourth grade. Here, we present data about classroom quality in the ABC program and examine children’s language, math, and literacy scores at three key points in time: the beginning of kindergarten, the end of kindergarten, and the end of first grade. Results from classroom quality analyses suggest that overall quality in ABC pre-K classrooms was generally high. Measures of child outcomes suggest continuing benefits for children who participated in the high-quality ABC program by the time they reach kindergarten and first grade.