Date of Award

Spring 5-2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Terry Reid

Second Advisor

Dr. Dennis Cooper

Third Advisor

Dr. Kevin Kopp

Abstract

The availability of pre-kindergarten education has increased over the last few years, but public schools often lack consistency in providing a preschool program. In this quantitative study, the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) scores of schools that offer an in-district preschool program were compared to those schools that do not offer an in-district preschool program. A Null Hypothesis was proposed: the presence of a preschool facility provided by a school district will not affect scores on standardized achievement tests. The percentage of those students who scored advanced or proficient on the MAP test in the areas of Math or Communication Arts for 2006-2008, in schools that do maintain a preschool facility, was compared to students who scored likewise, in schools that do not maintain a preschool facility. The purpose of that comparison was to determine if statistical significance exists that shows that the combined percentage of students who were tested in schools that did maintain a preschool facility in-district were significantly greater that the scores of those students in districts that do not maintain an in-district preschool. The analysis was repeated with the reporting districts sorted by student enrollment in grades K-12 upon completion of the t-test comparison. In analyzing the data, the null hypothesis was accepted in 28 of 30 statistical analyses. Based on the overwhelming evidence of this study, the conclusion must be drawn that the presence or absence of a preschool has no effect on the percentages of students scoring at the advanced or proficient levels in the content areas of Communication Arts and Math on the MAP test for the testing sessions during the 2005-2006, 2006-2007, and 2007-2008 school years. Furthermore, the same conclusion can be drawn when the school districts are sorted by enrollment of fewer than or equal to 500, 501 to 1000, 1001 to 5000, and over 5000 enrolled K-12 students.

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