Building on the implementation study findings, this study assesses the impacts of the program on students by comparing kindergarten readiness and other outcomes for students who attended TK and with those who are similar in age but did not attend TK. The study will also examine how these outcomes relate to differences in TK classroom characteristics.
Treatment and Comparison Group: To measure the effect of TK, the study will compare similarly-aged children, some of whom were eligible for TK (born October 1-December 2) and some of whom were not (born December 3- February 2). These children will enter kindergarten at the same time.
Cohorts: The study will follow two adjacent cohorts of students, for two purposes: a) to examine the changes in TK implementation over these two years and (b) to combine the two years of data in order to have enough students to examine the impacts of TK for smaller subgroups of students (e.g., English learners).
Cohort 1: The first cohort is comprised of children entering kindergarten in 2014-15—approximately half of whom were eligible for TK in 2013-14, and half of whom were not eligible and had other non-TK experiences (e.g., preschool, staying home, being cared for by a family member or friend).
Cohort 2: The second cohort is comprised of children entering kindergarten in 2015-16, again with approximately half who attended TK and half who did not.
Data Collection: Building on the implementation study findings, the study includes five main data collection activities:
- Observations of TK classrooms
- Survey of TK teachers regarding their teaching experience and classroom practice
- Survey of district TK administrators regarding TK policies, approaches, and supports for teachers and schools
- Survey of kindergarten teachers regarding classroom practices and the performance and behaviors of their students
- Developmentally appropriate assessments of students in kindergarten (fall and spring) on: language, literacy, mathematics and executive function
- Indirect assessments of students’ social skills in kindergarten (fall and spring) through teacher ratings