Policy Brief/Analysis

Determining System Components and Recommendations for Improvement and Resources for PHLpre-K

Recent results from the Evaluation of the Philadelphia PreK Program Year 2 revealed that although sample classrooms are providing moderate levels of quality in emotional support for children and in organizational practices in the classroom, teacher-child interactions are rarely observed that are likely to lead to improved learning outcomes. Children are afforded opportunities to engage in a variety of activity settings but spend too much time in activities that will not lead to learning. Additionally, these results did not vary in any systematic way (e.g. classrooms in public schools or with higher STAR ratings did not score better than other classrooms.) Higher quality classrooms, defined as those that exhibit less time in transition, more time with content areas, more scaffolded learning and more often integrate content, represented a small fraction of the sample. Not surprisingly, given these classroom practices, the study did not find positive effects of the program on children’s learning gains. 

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. 

Dr. Milagros Nores is the Co-Director for Research and Associate Research Professor at the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER). With a profound expertise in early childhood evaluation, informing data-driven policy and programming, cost and benefits of early interventions, evaluation design, equity, and English language learners, she has established herself as a leading researcher in the field of early care and education.


The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at the Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, conducts and disseminates independent research and analysis to inform early childhood education policy.