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Title page for ETD etd-08162019-074836

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Kabourek, Sarah Elizabeth
URN etd-08162019-074836
Title Heterogeneity in Public Preschool Efficacy: Evaluation, Student Growth Trajectories, and Approaches to Expansion
Degree PhD
Department Leadership and Policy Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Gary T. Henry, PhD Committee Chair
Christopher A. Candelaria, PhD Committee Member
Mimi Engel, PhD Committee Member
Robin Jacob, PhD Committee Member
  • longitudinal
  • preschool evaluation
  • preschool
  • education policy
  • education
Date of Defense 2019-07-11
Availability restrictone
Research shows that access to high-quality early childhood education and care can reduce the achievement gap at kindergarten entry. However, the evidence on medium- and long-term outcomes from early childhood interventions is mixed, with many longer-term evaluations reflecting smaller, null, or even negative effects of preschool when using a longer time horizon. The essays in this dissertation explore this inconsistency, and asks questions related to the persistence and heterogeneity of preschool longitudinal effects, research and program design, and financing. The first study uses meta-analytic techniques to estimate the persistence of effects for public preschool programs from 1960 to present, controlling for several research design and contextual factors. The second study employs data from a nationally representative dataset to assess the associations between preschool participation and children’s academic growth trajectories through third grade. Finally, the third study explores the potential use of Social Impact Bond financing mechanisms, where financing is tied to outcomes, to expand preschool programs. This qualitative study provides new data and perspectives from local city and state administrators regarding their goals for expansion, as well as the financial and political challenges they face.

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