Children in Alabama’s First Class Pre-K program show significant gains in early literacy skills.

  • Students in First Class Pre-K gain of 7.4 percentage points on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT-IV). PPVT has been found to be predictive of later school achievement. In several other states, the goal is a 4 percentage point gain.
  • The average PPVT post-test score for children in Alabama’s First Class Pre-K was 99.26. The U.S. Department of Education found a score of 85 to be “acceptable.”
Source: Alabama Department of Children’s Affairs

Alabama's First Class Pre-K program is closing the achievement gap through the 6th grade

  • Students who participated in Alabama's First Class Pre-K program academically outperform their peers once they reach elementary school, and the advantages conferred by pre-k participation persist at least through the 6th grade. 
  • The positive academic effects are particularly strong for pre-k participants who come from lower income households - Results from an ongoing study found that First Class Pre-K participation closed the achievement gap for lower income students by 25 percent. 

Source: Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama

Numerous evaluations show that high-quality pre-k improves educational achievement.

Numerous evaluations have shown that high-quality, voluntary state-funded pre-k programs significantly improve children’s school readiness and lead to significant cognitive and social development among children, higher performance on achievement tests in the early grades and in some cases, reduced retention rates, producing substantial cost savings for school systems.

Source: “The Case for Pre-K in Education Reform: A Summary of Program Evaluation Findings,” The Pew Center on the States. (2010).  

High-quality pre-k produces lasting results.

A meta-analysis of 123 pre-k studies found that programs with a similar design to Alabama's First Class Pre-K program produce lasting results. The authors of this study found that the long-term cognitive gains from preschool programs were larger when programs focused on intentional and individualized teaching and small group learning (features of Alabama’s First Class Pre-K program).  Programs with this design produced long-term cognitive effects equivalent to one half or more of the achievement gap through the end of high school.

Source: “Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Early Education Interventions on Cognitive and Social Development,” Teachers College Record 112, no. 3 (2010).