Policy Brief/Analysis

The APPLES Blossom

Abbott Preschool Program Longitudinal Effects Study (APPLES), Preliminary Results through 2nd Grade

By Ellen Frede, Kwanghee Jung, W. Steven Barnett, and Alexandra Figueras
(June 2009)

The second in a series, this report discusses the results of a rigorous study of New Jersey’s Abbott Preschool Program. The study estimates the learning gains of children participating in the Abbott program, particularly looking at the long-term effects of participation. This report builds upon earlier research, following-up with former Abbott pre-K children now in first and second grade. Findings from the study include: gains in language, literacy and math skills continued through second grade for children who attended the pre-K program; participation in the program significantly reduced retention in kindergarten and first grade; and attending the Abbott program for two years resulted in greater educational impacts than attending for only one year or not attending 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. 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.