An Analysis of the Impact of Selected Structures of the Virginia Preschool Initiative on PALS Pre-K Program Summary Scores for At-Risk Preschool Students in Virginia
Leary, Patricia Wootten
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This study examines the impact of selected structures of the Virginia Preschool Initiative on reading readiness in at-risk preschool students in the state of Virginia. The Virginia Preschool Initiative is designed to prepare at-risk four-year-olds for success in kindergarten. According to the Virginia Department of Education, "The purpose of the grants is to reduce disparities among young children upon formal school entry and to reduce or eliminate those risk factors that lead to early academic failure." (Virginia Department of Education, 2005) The independent variables are the specific curriculum models used by the school division, length of program day, teacher certification, and program sponsoring agency. The dependent variables are the pre and post assessment scores on the eight subtests of the PALS-PreK assessment. A paired sample t-test and one-way ANOVA were conducted using Fall and Spring 2006 PALS-PreK student assessment scores from school divisions that participated in the Virginia Preschool Initiative during the 2005-06 school year to determine the relationship between the curriculum implemented and PALS-PreK Fall and Spring student assessment scores. The findings in this study indicate a statistically significant difference between the Fall and Spring student assessment scores for each of the curriculum models analyzed and at least one curriculum model consistently underperforms the other three curriculum models. There were no differences in three variables (length of school day, teacher certification, and program sponsoring agency) and were therefore, not subject to analysis.
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