Mathematica just published a study on KIPP pre-k. The Laura and John Arnold Foundation (where I work) funded the study.
The study was well designed and asked a very important question: does high-quality charter pre-k provide benefits above and beyond simply attending a high-quality charter elementary school?
The policy implications of this question are important: if high-quality charter pre-k adds to the achievement of students who attend high-performing elementary charter schools, policies that support both early child funding and charter school growth could accelerate achievement gains.
However, if attending a high-quality charter pre-k has no effect beyond the impact of simply attending a high-quality charter elementary school, then our limited public resources may be best spent on expanding high-quality charter elementary schools and not devoting as much resources to pre-k.
In other words, it’s really important to understand if: