Steve Barnett’s recent presentation, at the July 22nd National Business Leader Summit sponsored by the Partnership for America’s Economic Success, included some important summaries of recent research on early childhood programs. (Barnett is co-director of the National Institute for Early Education Research, at Rutgers.)
Among his findings:
We do have recent studies of state sponsored pre-K program that show strong effects of pre-K on student achievement. These effects are similar in magnitude to effects in the Chicago Child Parent Center program. These CPC effects have been shown to lead to economic and social benefits that considerably exceed costs.
We also have results that show that although early childhood program effects on average tend to fade somewhat over time, long-term effects on student achievement are still about half the initial effects at kindergarten entrance.
These findings refute some of the “myths” about research on early childhood programs, specifically the myth that all the research on early childhood programs is from old studies of programs from 20 or more y ears ago, and the myth that all the student achievement effects from these programs fade out over time.
His powerpoint can be found here.