Impact of preschool education on reading achievement of kindergarten through fifth grade students

Melissa H. Clark

Abstract

This study examines the impact of various types of preschool care and education on the reading achievement of children, kindergarten through fifth grade, who participated in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Class of 1998-99 (ECLS-K). The participants in this study are located throughout the United States of America. These students attend public and private schools. The data for this study were provided by the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES), a division of the U.S. Department of Education. The researcher utilized ECLS-K's Public Use Data File and Electronic Codebook to create an SPSS syntax file in order to determine if there is a difference in the longitudinal reading achievement of students from Kindergarten through the Fifth Grade and the cohort reading achievement of students in Kindergarten, First Grade, Third Grade, and Fifth Grade based on their preschool educational experience. Recommendations are provided for policymakers, teacher education programs, early childhood professionals, administrators, and K-12 public school teachers. A one way analysis of variance was conducted and indicated that the effect of preschool experience on the longitudinal reading achievement of students Kindergarten through the Fifth Grade was significant, F (4, 2528) = 46.42, p<.001. A one way analysis of variance was also conducted to test hypothesis 2 and indicated that the effect of preschool experience on the cohort reading achievement of students in Kindergarten, F (4, 14291) = 90.6, First Grade, F (4, 13919) = 51.72, Third Grade, F (4, 11772) = 6.35, and Fifth Grade, F (4, 9367) = .89 was significant. Suggestions for future studies are presented as well.