Research and Evaluation
The Impact of the Montessori Program on Achievement and College Readiness 

Berhane B. Araia, Ph.D. & Akilah D. Swinton, Ph.D.


Having been an established program for quite some time now, PGCPS decision-makers are interested in the impact of attending a Montessori school.The current study focused on the impact of attending a Montessori school at grades 3, 5, 8, and 11. To address the research questions, we used SY15-SY16 enrollment data to create the analytical samples and Montessori lottery participation data across several years, starting in SY02, as a proxy for parental motivation. PARCC ELA and math data, MSA science data, and Maryland State’s College and Career Readiness (CCR) report data were used for the outcomes. To estimate the impacts of Montessori experience on PARCC proficiency rate for each grade, we used the Average Treatment Effect on the Treated (ATET) model. The findings from the Grade 3, Grade 5, and Grade 8 treatment effect analysis show a consistent pattern of impact of Montessori enrollment across grade levels in ELA, mathematics, and science. The results demonstrate that the size of the impact progressively increased as students moved though elementary and middle school. The findings from the treatment effect for Grade 11 analysis show that high school students who had attended Montessori program demonstrated higher rates of readiness for college and career in reading and they were as prepared as their peers for college and career in mathematics. Thus, the study confirmed that the impact of Montessori in reading sustained long after the students graduated from the program but there is no evidence to suggest that was the case for mathematics. Nevertheless, Montessori educated students were as prepared in mathematics as their peers and this is a sign that they adjusted very well to high school mathematics instruction in spite of the different instructional method in mathematics that they received until the 8th grade.

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    Did You Know?

    Most PGCPS graduates plan to attend college immediately after graduation; 75% of the Class of 2016 plan to attend a post-secondary educational institution (4-year college-49%, 2-year college-26%).


    More than 33,600 students, 9,000 parents, and 5,700 teachers participated in the 2017 School Climate Survey.