Vanderbilt study is an opportunity for improvement
In a long-awaited report, Vanderbilt University released findings about Tennessee’s Voluntary Pre-K that are disappointing, yet not totally surprising.
As an advocate for quality early education and increased access for economically disadvantaged children, I believe this study is an opportunity for serious reflection and commitment to improvement.
The Vanderbilt study shows that children who attended Voluntary Pre-K started kindergarten ahead of their non-pre-K peers in a number of early academic indicators. Also, kindergarten teachers rated children who attended pre-K as better prepared.
However, by the end of kindergarten, the difference flattened, and by second grade, both sets of students lagged behind national norms. The most puzzling finding is that by third grade, students who attended pre-K were behind those who did not on some academic indicators.