A three-year study of 10,000 Pennsylvania students at risk for future poor academic performance has found that there is a correlation between those who enroll in high-quality preschool programs with marked improvement than children who don’t. The study was funded through a $1 million Heinz Endowment grant. There were 21 school districts included in the study, including Pittsburgh Public Schools. These at-risk children were placed into a Pre-K Counts program.
“[Now there are] more students graduating high school and going onto higher education, more students avoiding special ed and reaching their full potential, and fewer adults going the revolving door of jails and prisons,” says Heinz Endowment Chairman Teresa Heinz. “This is every penny well spent.”
The study’s most significant finding was that all at-risk children in Pre-K programs showed significant gains and early learning skills in a range of basic subject areas, including reading, math and behavior.