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Evaluating the Tempe Preschool Resource Expansion

Young child writing in notebook
Assessing whether Tempe PRE improves kindergarten readiness and future achievement for low-income children
  • Funder
    Helios Education Foundation
  • Dates
    2018 - 2022

NORC’s Early Childhood Research and Practice Collaborative and our local partners in Tempe, Arizona, are evaluating recent investments in Tempe PRE, a program that provides access to high-quality preschool for low-income children and places an intentional focus on instructional alignment between preschool and early elementary grades. The purpose of this project, funded by Helios Education Foundation, is to evaluate whether Tempe PRE improves low-income three- to five-year-old children’s kindergarten readiness and their future third grade academic outcomes.

This project has four goals:

  1. Understand the extent to which the Tempe PRE initiative influences children’s kindergarten readiness
  2. Identify the extent to which the Tempe PRE intervention has an impact on third grade literacy and mathematics skills
  3. Examine the extent to which the components of Tempe PRE are well aligned with later grades and being implemented with fidelity
  4. Evaluate the extent to which Pre-K and K-1 instructional strategies are aligned to reduce the impact of student fade-out

Tempe PRE partners are seeking to understand whether key components of the Tempe PRE program and ongoing teacher professional development in pre-kindergarten and the early elementary grades are being implemented with fidelity and thus supporting improved and sustained academic and social-emotional outcomes for participating children.

This project involves an initial design phase during which NORC will develop a theory of action with our Tempe PRE partners and finalize an implementation design and an impact evaluation design. NORC will then use administrative data and primary data collection activities (e.g., classroom observations) to study Tempe PRE implementation, measure student outcomes, and document student educational experiences as they progress through the early elementary grades.

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