Policy Brief/Analysis

The Abbott Preschool Program Longitudinal Effects Study (APPLES)

children raising hands in class

by Ellen Frede, Kwanghee Jung, W. Steven Barnett, Cynthia Esposito Lamy, and Alexandra Figueras (June 2007)

This report discusses the results of a rigorous study of New Jersey’s Abbott Preschool Program. The study seeks to determine if the learning gains from the state prekindergarten program found in earlier research at kindergarten entry continued throughout the kindergarten year and assess the quality of Abbott classrooms. Findings from this study: classroom quality in the Abbott Preschool Program continues to improve; children who attend the program, regardless of setting, improve in language, literacy and math skills through the end of their kindergarten year; and children who attend the preschool education program for two years significantly outperform those who attend for only one year or do not attend at all.

The Authors

In her work, Dr. Frede applies what she has learned throughout her varied career in early childhood education, including experience as a teacher of ages 0-8, curriculum and professional development specialist at the HighScope Foundation, teacher educator at The College of New Jersey, researcher, pre-k administrator for the New Jersey Department of Education, education lead in a large Head Start grantee and early learning lead at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Kwanghee Jung, an assistant research professor, brings to NIEER expertise in quantitative data analysis and is working on studies that analyze the effect of participation in state-funded preschool on children’s learning and development.

W. Steven (Steve) Barnett is a Board of Governors Professor and the founder and Senior Co-Director of the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University. Dr. Barnett’s work primarily focuses on public policies regarding early childhood education, child care, and child development.

Dr. Lamy is a developmental and educational psychologist whose research and writing focuses primarily on children at risk of school failure due to the many influences of poverty.

Dr. Figueras-Daniel was awarded a Young Scholars Program grant from the Foundation for Child Development to investigate coaching and professional development of Latina preschool teachers working with DLLs. At NIEER, she leads this study as well a project to develop a Latina leadership pipeline in ECE.