So, it looks like Governor Richardson is out touting “success” regarding New Mexico’s pre-kindergarten initiative:
The study is by the National Institute for Early Education at Rutgers University. It found that as a result of attending the New Mexico program at age four, children’s vocabulary scores increased by six raw score points, which was statistically significant. Their early math scores increased by more than two raw score points, which is also statistically significant, researchers said. And children’s’ scores on early literacy rose by about 14 percentage points for children attending versus those who did not attend.
There’s only one BIG problem with the supposed great education achievements:
The National Center for Education Statistics Early Childhood Longitudinal Study assessed 22,000 children at kindergarten entry and most recently reported on those students through the third grade. This research shows that by the end of third grade, the researchers no longer detect a difference between students who attended part-day or full-day kindergarten programs.
They write, “This report did not detect any substantive differences in children’s third-grade achievement relative to the type of kindergarten program (full-day vs. half-day) they attended.” The finding holds across all subject matters tested. Third-grade reading, mathematics and science achievement did not differ substantively by children’s gender or kindergarten program type.
Oops, they forgot to mention that. Oh, and did I mention that as a nation we are globally competitive until about the fourth grade. Kind of makes you wonder why we are squandering limited resources on early childhood programs. Oh that’s right we’re trying to eliminate parental responsibility.