Students who attended one or two years of Houston Independent School District (HISD) pre-K were significantly more likely to be prepared for kindergarten than peers who did not attend HISD pre-K, according to a new research brief from Rice University’s Houston Education Research Consortium (HERC).
Erin Baumgartner, a HERC postdoctoral fellow and the paper’s author, gauged pre-K students’ verbal school readiness by examining 25,417 HISD pre-K students’ English assessment scores and 13,622 HISD pre-K students’ Spanish assessment scores after one and two years of pre-K. The students were enrolled in kindergarten during the 2013-2014 or 2015-2016 school year. These English and Spanish assessments examined students’ reading abilities and measured growth over time in various literacy components.
After taking into consideration other factors that may impact school readiness, such as race, ethnicity, economic advantage or disadvantage, household language and immigrant status, Baumgartner found that English-assessment test takers who attended one year of HISD pre-K had 2.8 times greater odds of being ready for school than a student who attended zero years of HISD pre-K. Students who attended two years of HISD pre-K had 3.8 times greater odds of being school-ready than those who attended zero years of HISD pre-K, and 1.4 greater odds of being school-ready than those who attend one year of HISD pre-K.
For Spanish-assessment test takers, Baumgartner said that students who enrolled in one or two years of HISD pre-K had more than three times greater odds of being ready for school than students who were enrolled in zero years of HISD pre-K. And while there was a difference in odds of readiness between students who attended one and two years of HISD pre-K, it occurred in an unexpected direction. The odds of being ready on the Spanish assessment were 20 percent higher for students who attended one year of HISD pre-K than for students who attended two years.
“While the difference …