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Research and Evaluation
Kola Sunmonu, PhD.
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Last modified: 7/23/2014 3:01:47 PM
Research and Evaluation

  An Analysis of School Readiness in Prince George's County Public Schools, SY2010


This evaluation seeks to answer the following: (1) To what extent are children entering kindergarten in SY2009-2010 in PGCPS ready for school?; and (2) To what extent does participating in PGCPS’ pre-k and Head Start programs increase  the likelihood of a child being school-ready? The first research question was answered using summary and descriptive statistics. The second research question was addressed using a quasi-experimental approach, propensity score matching, which was utilized to create two groups of children who are identical on all observable characteristics, but only differ in whether or not they attended a PGCPS pre-school program. Thereafter, a probit probability model was used to predict the likelihood of a child being ready for school based on participation in PGCPS preschool programs. Approximately 68% of kindergarten students enrolled in PGCPS were ready for school across all learning domains. Since SY2002, PGCPS has seen a 32-point increase in the percentage of students entering kindergarten school-ready. White students had the highest level of school readiness (79%), while Asian (67%), Black (70%), Native American (71%), Hispanic (63%), multiracial (73%), and Hawaiian (67%) students had lower levels of readiness. The percentage of special education students that were school-ready was 33 percentage-points lower than non-special education students (38% to 71%). For students with limited English proficiency, the percent school-ready was 62, approximately 8 percentage points less than their counterparts who are proficient in English. The percentage of students participating in FARMS school-ready (66%) was lower than that of non-FARMS participants (73%). Findings from the probit probability model indicate that both PGCPS’ preschool programs (i.e., pre-kindergarten and Head Start) are effective at increasing the likelihood of being school-ready for students, regardless of race, gender, and special needs. The odds that a child is ready for school is over twice as high if he/she participates in PGCPS’ preschool programs, compared to the odds of a similarly situated child who does not participate. Implications of the findings for increasing enrollment in Pre-K and Head Start and improving the quality of preschool programs in PGCPS are discussed.

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    Did You Know?

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