School Readiness

Brief

What Do We Know and What Are We Learning?

July, 2019

There is growing evidence that alignment between preschool and elementary school can help sustain the learning gains that children make in preschool. A new policy brief examines two large-scale, multiyear projects seeking to build rigorous evidence about the promise of aligning instruction from preschool through third grade.

Report

Integrating Workforce and College-Readiness Training into California’s Adult Basic Skills Programs

July, 2019

New models for adult education that integrate basic skills education with workforce and college-readiness training are catching on across the country. In this report, MDRC examines the development of these programs in California and suggests ways to expand these integrated models in adult basic skills programs across the state.

Across the United States, children’s life prospects are substantially shaped by their circumstances between birth and age 3. The earliest years of life, then, may present this country’s best opportunity to disrupt cycles of poverty. In the American South, children of low-income families acutely experience the disadvantages of poverty, and they disproportionately remain...

Report

The Implementation of High 5s in New York City

March, 2018
Robin Tepper Jacob, Anna Erickson, Shira Kolnik Mattera

Small-group math clubs in kindergarten are an innovative way to align children’s elementary and pre-K math experiences. In a demonstration of the High 5s kindergarten supplement aligned with the principles of an evidence-based, developmentally appropriate pre-K curriculum, attendance and engagement were high, and children participated in hands-on, individualized activities.

Report

The Impacts of Making Pre-K Count and High 5s on Kindergarten Outcomes

March, 2018
Shira Kolnik Mattera, Robin Tepper Jacob, Pamela Morris

This project tested whether high-quality, aligned math instruction, via an evidence-based curriculum in pre-K and innovative math clubs in kindergarten, could improve children’s outcomes. The effect of two years of enriched math translates into closing more than a quarter of the achievement gap between low-income children and their higher-income peers.

Brief

Challenges and Opportunities in Summer Programs for Rising Kindergarten Students

May, 2018
Barbara Condliffe, Anna Foster, Robin Tepper Jacob

One focus of the Expanding Children’s Early Learning (ExCEL) Network is the potential value of programs to promote school readiness in the months preceding kindergarten. This brief summarizes lessons learned from a six-week pilot program and consultation with practitioners on three implementation issues — recruitment, attendance, and family involvement.

Brief

Introducing ExCEL P-3, a Study from the Expanding Children’s Early Learning Network

July, 2017
Meghan McCormick, JoAnn Hsueh, Christina Weiland, Michael Bangser

The ExCEL Network, a collaboration of researchers, preschool providers, and local officials, is exploring how benefits of early childhood interventions persist. The ExCEL P-3 project examines whether one preschool program, reinforced by a system-wide alignment of instruction into elementary school, has impacts on a range of skills through third grade.

Testimony

Testimony Before the New York City Council Committee on Higher Education

April, 2017

In the City University of New York’s innovative program, CUNY’s least prepared students delay matriculation, beginning instead with noncredit, time-intensive instruction aimed at eliminating developmental needs after one semester, preparing participants for college courses, and improving academic outcomes. An independent evaluation will help determine CUNY Start’s effect on academic success.

Brief

Preliminary Kindergarten Impacts of the Making Pre-K Count and High 5s Programs

February, 2017
Shira Kolnik Mattera, Pamela Morris

Can children’s math skills be strengthened in pre-K and kindergarten, and can such improvements have longer-term effects? This preliminary analysis examines the cumulative effects of two early math programs and demonstrates that this enhanced experience can have modest, positive impacts on children’s math and executive function skills in kindergarten.

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