Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Chair

Dr. David E. Lee

Committee Chair Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Member 2

Dr. James Fox

Committee Member 2 Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Member 3

Dr. Richard Mohn

Committee Member 3 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 4

Dr. Kyna Shelley

Committee Member 4 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to determine whether differences exist in performance on high-stakes accountability tests in third grade and high school among seniors who attended preschool and those who did not attend preschool. Test performance was measured using 2006-2007 third grade Mississippi Curriculum Test (MCT) reading and math scaled scores, English II and Algebra I Subject Area Testing Program-2 (SATP2) scores, and ACT composite scores. The study further analyzed the difference among groups based on retention rates, gender, and socioeconomic status. The study also examined the beliefs of parents of preschool attendees about the impact of preschool on their children’s preparation for formal school success using a parent questionnaire.

A total of 185 parent questionnaires were accompanied by signed parental consents and could be included in the study. Frequencies and percentages were provided for each of the independent variables. Analysis of the data found no statistically significant differences among students’ academic performance with regards to preschool type. However, statistically different results were found when considering a student’s Algebra I SATP2 scores with regard to retention history. In addition, statistically significant differences were detected on ACT scores when considering socioeconomic status and public school preschool. The study found no differences in reports of parental beliefs about the impact of preschool on reading and math readiness. The study further revealed that parents’ beliefs about the impact of preschool on reading and math were moderately positively correlated to subsequent performances MCT reading/English I SATP2 and MCT math/Algebra I SATP2 tests.

Most parents agree that their child attending preschool was very effective in preparing them for success in kindergarten through twelfth grades and even future employment. However, this study revealed that as children got older parents reported less involvement with homework assistance, and volunteering at their child’s school. Parents were neutral or in agreement up through grade five, after which many disagreed to volunteering at their child’s school, receiving helpful information from school, and helping with homework.

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