Start Early to Excel
The report looked at student performance at three reading
levels: comprehension of words in context (a basic 3rd
grade reading level); literal inference; and extrapolation. The
study found that although the effect of the combination of
preK and half-day kindergarten was only slight in the area
of “comprehension of words in context”
( 3 percent), it was far greater at more
advanced reading levels. That is, the
chances of a 3rd grader reaching the
“literal inference” level improved by
11 percent when that student attended
preK and half-day kindergarten as
opposed to full-day kindergarten alone;
a student’s chances of reaching the even
more advanced level of “extrapolation”
increased by 18 percent compared with
peers who attended full-day kindergarten alone.
Improvements were greatest for Hispanic children,
black children, children from low-income families, and
English language learners.
In the 40 U.S. states studied,
85 percent saw a reduction of the gap between Latino and white students’ scores on state achievement tests in both math and language arts between 2002 and 2009.
67 percent saw a reduction of the gap between black and white students’ scores on state achievement tests in language arts during the same period.
63 percent saw a reduction of the gap between black and white students’ scores on state achievement tests in math during the same period. Source: Center on Education Policy. (2011). State test score trends through 2008–09, Part 5. Washington, DC: Author. The years covered varied among states, but every state had at least three years of comparable test data ending in 2009.