In this report, the RAND Corporation reveals the results of its five-year evaluation of Hawaii’s effort to increase student achievement through increased focus on preschool. In 2007, the State of Hawaii embarked upon an ambitious goal of ensuring that all children would be reading on grade level by third grade. To achieve that goal, Hawaii responded to research indicating that children who enter school behind in learning skills tend to stay behind academically. They launched a preschool to grade 3 initiative focused on six areas of best P-3 practice : K-3 alignment, K-3 teacher assessments, professional development, increased access to and enrollment in early learning programs, improved kindergarten transitions, and support for parent engagement. RAND’s five-year evaluation (2009-2014) examined the implementation of local plans in five demonstration sites. Some of RAND’s interesting findings include:
- Sites had developed plans that were aligned with best practices, and they were required to focus on all six (rather than some) of the best practice areas.
- Incentives to sites played little role in motivating performance.
- More years of participation raised the likelihood of scoring a proficient score on the state reading test.
Read the full report and recommendations here