Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

8-2017

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Virginia Foley

Committee Members

John Boyd, Don Good, Amy Malkus

Abstract

The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine if there is a significant difference in the academic and behavioral performance of students who had attended Putnam County’s prekindergarten program and students who qualified for, but had not attended Putnam County’s prekindergarten program. The researcher examined individual student data of specific students in three grade bands (elementary, middle, and high school). The grade levels included 3rd grade, 7th grade, and 9th grade. The data analyzed were students’ individual GPA, ACT Explore scores, MAP Universal Screener scores, number of days absent, and number of discipline referrals of students who had attended Putnam County’s prekindergarten program and students who qualified for Putnam County’s prekindergarten program, but had not attended.

The population of this study consisted of 1,118 students in Putnam County, Tennessee. The researcher used end-of-year GPA, ACT Explore scores, fall and spring MAP universal screener scores in Math and Reading, absenteeism rates as defined by total number of days missed out of 180 instructional days, and end-of-year discipline referral rates. The researcher gathered this data from various resources such as individual student reports (MAP scores) and PowerSchool, which is Putnam County’s Student Information System. The data was then analyzed using a series of independent sample t-tests. Significant differences were found in all grade levels in GPA, MAP Reading, and MAP Math scores with students who had attended prekindergarten in Putnam County performing better than those who qualified for prekindergarten but had not attended. Significant differences were also found in 9th grade ACT Explore scores with students who had attended prekindergarten in Putnam County performing better than those who qualified for but had not attended. In regard to days absent and discipline reports, the only significant findings were found in 3rd grade with students who had attended prekindergarten in Putnam county missing fewer days than those who had not attended. This study concluded with recommendations that further specified focus should be applied to state-funded prekindergarten programs.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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