Date of Award

Fall 8-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Second Advisor

Dr. Jeff Hyatt

Third Advisor

Dr. Terry Reid

Abstract

While many studies have been published about the short-term effects of preschool on student achievement, few long-term studies have been completed. The focus of this study was to determine whether students who attended schools that offered preschool demonstrated improved student achievement in communication arts and math in fourth and eighth grades. Quantitative data, including MAP scores for 2010, 2011 and 2012 in communication arts and math, were reviewed. The participants included rural schools with similar demographics as evidenced by membership in Missouri Association of Rural Education. A survey was administered to superintendents of the same schools. The data revealed that students who attended schools that offered preschool performed higher in only one of the four areas reviewed in this study than students who attended schools that did not offer preschool. This difference was noted in fourth grade math. Results from fourth grade communication arts, eighth grade communication arts, and eighth grade math indicated decreased student achievement for students who attended schools that did offer preschool. While the data show administrators believe preschool is an effective tool to improve student achievement, the results contradict this notion in three of the four areas in this study. These findings are evidence that more research is necessary to determine the effectiveness of preschool as a tool to improve student achievement long-term.

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