Sustaining Early Childhood Learning Gains: Program, School, and Family Influences 1108425925, 9781108425926

How gains from early childhood experiences are initiated, increased, sustained, and affect life-course development are f

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Table of contents :
Cover
Half-title page
Reviews
Title page
Copyright page
Contents
List of Figures
List of Tables
List of Contributors
Foreword
Acknowledgments
1 Introduction: Increasing and Sustaining Gains in Early Learning
Part I Program Dosage and Quality
2 Synthesis of Preschool Dosage: How Quantity, Quality, and Content Impact Child Outcomes
3 Teacher Influences and Program Effectiveness in Early Childhood Education
4 Boosting School Readiness with Preschool Curricula
Part II Continuity from Preschool to Third Grade
6 Patterns of Experiences across Head Start and Kindergarten Classrooms That Promote Children’s Development
7 Quality and Continuity in Young Children’s Educational Experiences
8 The Child–Parent Center Preschool-to-Third-Grade Program: A School Reform Model to Increase and Sustain Learning Gains at Scale
9 State Policies That Support Children’s Literacy through Pre-K–Third Grade Education
Part III School and Family Processes of Impacts over Time
10 School-Related and Family Processes Leading to Long-Term Intervention Effects
11 Lessons on Sustaining Early Gains from the Life-Course Study of Perry Preschool
12 Sustaining Gains from Early Childhood Intervention: The Abecedarian Program
13 Differential Effects of High-Quality Early Care: Lessons from the Infant Health and Development Program
Part IV Synthesis and Guiding Principles
14 Enhancing Children’s Outcomes since “Eager to Learn”
15 Reframing Policy and Practice Deliberations: Twelve Hallmarks of Strategies to Attain and Sustain Early Childhood Gains
Subject Index
Name Index
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Sustaining Early Childhood Learning Gains

How gains from early childhood experiences are initiated, increased, and sustained, and how they affect life-course development, is fundamental to science and society. These matters also have increasing policy relevance, given public investments in early learning programs and the need to measure their effectiveness in promoting well-being. With contributions from leading researchers across many disciplines, this book emphasizes key interventions and practices over the first decade of life and the elements and strategies through which gains can be enhanced by schools, families, communities, and public institutions. Three critical themes are addressed: firstly, the importance of documenting and understanding the impact of investments in early childhood and schoolage years. Secondly, increased priority on elements and principles for scaling effective programs and practices to benefit all children. Thirdly, a focus on multiple levels of strategies for sustaining gains and promoting long-term effects, ranging from early care and family engagement to school reform, and state and federal policy. Arthur J. Reynolds is a professor in the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota. A leading expert in the early intervention field, he directs the Chicago Longitudinal Study, one of the largest studies of the effects of early education. Judy A. Temple is a professor in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on the evaluation of long-term effects of early educational interventions and policy evaluation.

“This book has it all. Sustaining early learning gains is a top education policy priority. The content is first rate and the authors offer a plethora of effective recommendations that will strengthen programs and practices. The authors themselves are a who’s who list of educational and developmental scientists with vast experience in knowing what works. The book clearly shows that good early childhood education policy and effective school reform go hand in hand.” Arne Duncan, Former Secretary, United States Department of Education

“This research reinforces why we’re taking significant strides to expand early education, which is fundamentally about giving every child in every neighborhood their best chance to succeed. Reynolds and Temple show us that these significant investments in our children will help level the playing field, further close the achievement gap, and build stronger communities for generations to come.” Rahm Emanuel, Mayor, City of Chicago

“This volume focuses on one of the most crucial issues facing us today: how to build upon and sustain the gains from early intervention. The editors and authors are clear that we need a multi-year commitment to continuity and quality. The work presented here provides powerful justification for this comprehensive investment.” Samuel J. Meisels, Founding Executive Director, Buffett Early Childhood Institute, University of Nebraska

“The research is ripe with insights and directives gleaned from years of investments, programming, and evaluations. This is well-timed and well-aimed as public and private investments in early childhood seek to spur an increasingly greater impact. It is an invaluable volume for practitioners, policymakers, and all those who care about providing young children accessible pathways of opportunity.” Rip Rapson, President and CEO, The Kresge Foundation

“Investing in children’s early learning is an investment in our shared future. Much has been written about the importance of early learning for brain development, but this book provides important research and insights into how to sustain those early gains through the K-3 years and beyond. This is a valuable resource for practitioners, researchers, policymakers, and philanthropists.” Kate Wolford, President, McKnight Foundation

Sustaining Early Childhood Learning Gains Program, School, and Family Influences Edited by

Arthur J. Reynolds University of Minnesota

Judy A. Temple University of Minnesota

University Printing House, Cambridge CB2 8BS, United Kingdom One Liberty Plaza, 20th Floor, New York, NY 10006, USA 477 Williamstown Road, Port Melbourne, VIC 3207, Australia 314–321, 3rd Floor, Plot 3, Splendor Forum, Jasola District Centre, New Delhi – 110025, India 79 Anson Road, #06–04/06, Singapore 079906 Cambridge University Press is part of the University of Cambridge. It furthers the University’s mission by disseminating knowledge in the pursuit of education, learning, and research at the highest international levels of excellence. www.cambridge.org Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9781108425926 DOI: 10.1017/9781108349352 © Cambridge University Press 2019 This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press. First published 2019 Printed and bound in Great Britain by Clays Ltd, Elcograf S.p.A. A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Reynolds, Arthur J., editor. | Temple, Judy A., editor. Title: Sustaining early childhood learning gains : program, school, and family influences / edited by Arthur J. Reynolds and Judy A. Temple. Description: Cambridge ; New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 2019. | “The book is based on a national invitational conference that was held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in October 2015. The chapters are updated versions of those presented at the conference” – Chapter 1. | Includes bibliographic references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2018039866 | ISBN 9781108425926 (hbk.) Subjects: LCSH: Early childhood education – Evaluation. | Early childhood education – Planning. Classification: LCC LB1139.25 .S87 2019 | DDC 372.21–dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2018039866 ISBN 978-1-108-42592-6 Hardback Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this publication and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.

Contents

List of Figures List of Tables List of Contributors Foreword karen hanson Acknowledgments 1

Introduction: Increasing and Sustaining Gains in Early Learning arthur j. reynolds and judy a. temple

Part I Program Dosage and Quality 2

3

4

5

page x xii xiv xv xvii

1

29

Synthesis of Preschool Dosage: How Quantity, Quality, and Content Impact Child Outcomes barbara a. wasik and emily k. snell

31

Teacher Influences and Program Effectiveness in Early Childhood Education gregory camilli

52

Boosting School Readiness with Preschool Curricula tutrang nguyen, greg j. duncan, and jade m. jenkins

74

What Can We Learn from State-of-the-Art Early Childhood Education Programs? beth meloy, madelyn gardner, marjorie wechsler, and david kirp

101

vii

Contents

viii

Part II 6

7

8

9

Continuity from Preschool to Third Grade Patterns of Experiences across Head Start and Kindergarten Classrooms That Promote Children’s Development andrew j. mashburn and rita yelverton Quality and Continuity in Young Children’s Educational Experiences deborah j. stipek The Child–Parent Center Preschool-to-Third-Grade Program: A School Reform Model to Increase and Sustain Learning Gains at Scale arthur j. reynolds State Policies That Support Children’s Literacy through Pre-K–Third Grade Education laura bornfreund and abbie lieberman

Part III School and Family Processes of Impacts over Time 10

11

12

13

School-Related and Family Processes Leading to Long-Term Intervention Effects arthur j. reynolds, suh-ruu ou, christina f. mondi, and momoko hayakawa Lessons on Sustaining Early Gains from the Life-Course Study of Perry Preschool lawrence j. schweinhart Sustaining Gains from Early Childhood Intervention: The Abecedarian Program frances a. campbell, yi pan, and margaret burchinal Differential Effects of High-Quality Early Care: Lessons from the Infant Health and Development Program juan c. chaparro, aaron j. sojourner, and nathan huey

133

135

160

182

210

233

235

254

268

287

Contents

Part IV

Synthesis and Guiding Principles

14

Enhancing Children’s Outcomes since “Eager to Learn” barbara t. bowman

15

Reframing Policy and Practice Deliberations: Twelve Hallmarks of Strategies to Attain and Sustain Early Childhood Gains craig t. ramey and sharon landesman ramey Subject Index Name Index

ix

303 305

314

350 360

Figures

1.1 Percentage of US 4-year-olds in early education page 3 1.2 Sources of long-term effects in three studies: Consortium, Perry, and Child–Parent Centers 12 1.3 Five-hypothesis model of early childhood program effectiveness to youth and adult well-being 14 4.1 Impacts of various curricula on academic outcomes 83 6.1 Consistency of math instruction across Head Start and kindergarten classrooms and children’s development of math skills during kindergarten 152 6.2 Consistency of child-chosen activities across Head Start and kindergarten classrooms and children’s development of social skills during kindergarten 154 6.3 Consistency of whole-group activities across Head Start and kindergarten classrooms and children’s development of aggression during kindergarten 154 8.1 Child–Parent Center preschool to third grade conceptualization 186 8.2 Child–Parent Center preschool to third grade model 187 8.3 Child–Parent Center structure, key elements, and outcomes 190 8.4 Reading growth to age 15 199 8.5 CPC-P–3 reading advantage 200 10.1 Three processes from early childhood intervention to adult well-being 237 10.2 Percentage contributions of three processes to total indirect effects of CPC preschool participation 245 10.3 Summary paths of effects from preschool to years of education at age 21 in three studies 246 11.1 Preschool effect sizes on educational test scores 258 11.2 Placement and graduation of females 259 11.3 Adult median earnings 259 11.4 Five or more lifetime arrests 260 11.5 A causal model of the HighScope Perry Preschool Study 261 x

List of Figures

11.6 HighScope Perry Preschool return on investment 13.1 IHDP treatment effects on IQ at 36 months 13.2 Effects of IHDP child-time allocation by mother’s potential wage 13.3 IHDP treatment effects on quality of non-maternal care 13.4 IHDP treatment effects on quality of maternal care 15.1 Four Diamond model for improving the quality and benefits of early care and education 15.2 The Q-STAR checklist (2013)

xi

262 294 296 297 297 342 346

Tables

1.1 Core elements of early childhood programs and services and linkage to key principles of effectiveness page 6 2.1 Intended dosage and content of exemplar preschool programs 38 3.1 Factor pattern matrix for CLASS dimensions 59 3.2 CLASS statistics from Table 6 of Carneiro et al. (2013) 60 4.1 Curricula used in Head Start, pre-K, and other state and locally funded programs 76 4.2 Publishers and costs of widely used curricula packages in preschool programs 79 5.1 Overview of highlighted programs 103 6.1 Demographic characteristics of children, families, and schools (n = 975) 143 6.2 Descriptive statistics for and correlations between instructional practices in Head Start and kindergarten (n = 975) 145 6.3 Descriptive statistics for children’s academic and socialemotional skills in Head Start and kindergarten (n = 975) 148 6.4 Classroom instructional practices and children’s development of academic skills during kindergarten (n = 975) 150 6.5 Classroom instructional practices and children’s development of social-emotional skills during kindergarten (n = 975) 151 8.1 Midwest Child–Parent Center expansion core elements and collaboration 191 8.2 Percentage of time in instructional activities by Chicago full-day and part-day classes 196 8.3 Child–Parent Center estimates for school readiness, parent involvement, and achievement in two studies 198 9.1 Do states require ECE training and/or licensure for preK–third grade teachers? 216 xii

List of Tables

9.2 For child care center licensing standards, what educational requirements do states require birth-to-5 educators to have? 9.3 How do states help to make sure prospective teachers are prepared to teach reading? 9.4 States that offer recommendations or have requirements for pre-K–third grade assessment 9.5 States that can link child-level data from early childhood programs to K–12 longitudinal data system 9.6 Pre-K and K–12 funding in states 9.7 State provision of full-day pre-K and full-day kindergarten 9.8 State English learner policies 9.9 State third-grade reading policies 10.1 Effects of preschool participation in the Child–Parent Centers 10.2 Benefit–cost findings of selected early childhood interventions (2012 dollars) 12.1 Adult outcomes for Abecedarian participants by preschool treatment and gender 12.2 Hypothesized mediators for long-term Abecedarian treatment impacts 12.3 Mediational analyses showing statistically significant and marginal indirect paths from treatment through mediators to adult outcomes 13.1 Learning and literacy components (IT-home score) available in the IHDP sample 15.1 Hallmarks of early childhood education programs that produced large benefits

xiii

217 217 221 221 223 226 227 228 243 248 275 280

282 293 323

Contributors

laura bornfreund New America Foundation barbara a. bowman Erikson Institute margaret burchinal University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill gregory camilli Rutgers University frances a. campbell University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill juan c. chaparro Universidad EAFIT, Colombia greg j. duncan University of California at Irvine madelyn gardner Learning Policy Research Institute karen hanson University of Minnesota momoko hayakawa University of Minnesota nathan huey University of Minnesota jade m. jenkins University of California at Irvine david kirp University of California at Berkeley abbie lieberman New America Foundation andrew j. mashburn Portland State University beth meloy Learning Policy Research Institute christina f. mondi University of Minnesota tutrang nguyen University of California at Irvine suh-ruu ou University of Minnesota yi pan University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill craig t. ramey Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, Virginia Tech sharon landesman ramey Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, Virginia Tech arthur j. reynolds University of Minnesota lawrence j. schweinhart HighScope Educational Research Foundation (Emeritus) emily k. snell Temple University aaron j. sojourner University of Minnesota deborah j. stipek Stanford University judy a. temple University of Minnesota barbara a. wasik Temple University marjorie wechsler Learning Policy Research Institute rita yelverton Portland State University xiv

Foreword

This volume presents the proceedings of a research conference convened by the Human Capital Research Collaborative (HCRC), hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, on the critically important topic of increasing and sustaining early childhood development gains. I welcome the opportunity to provide a brief foreword for the proceedings, as I am grateful for the work of these scholars on this crucial topic. By way of background, let me note that, as Provost and Executive Vice President of the University of Minnesota, I had the privilege of working with the members of our Twin Cities campus community to create and implement a campus strategic plan that reinvigorates our commitment to the land-grant mission of the University. The HCRC exemplifies two of the campus plan’s four main strategic pillars, so the work presented at this conference clearly aligned with our institution’s central aspirations. One pillar of our campus plan is a commitment to capitalize on the extraordinary breadth, as well as the quality, of our research capacity, in order to address the world’s grand challenges. We understand “grand challenges” to be not only deep and difficult problems, but also multifaceted challenges, requiring expertise and ideas drawn from many spheres and disciplines in order to be effectively addressed. These grand challenges are among the most important and complex problems facing local communities, states, nations, and the world. Enhancing individual and community capacity for a changing world, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to realize his or her potential, is one of the aims of the HCRC, and it is also among the five grand challenges explicitly identified as a priority research focus for our university. This is a meaningful alignment of goals, one that promises constructive synergies. Another central pillar of our campus strategic plan is a commitment to reciprocal engagement with our various communities, a commitment to draw on and respond to our specific location in a vibrant but complicated metropolitan area. The University of Minnesota wants to work with community, government, nonprofit, and corporate partners on shared xv

xvi

Foreword

priorities, with mutually inflected identification of issues and of pathways forward. For more than ten years, the HCRC has exemplified reciprocal engagement. The HCRC is focused on the links between human capital and economic development, public health, and K–12 education. In another iteration of this reciprocity, it must be noted that the future of the University of Minnesota – which exists to develop human potential – also depends upon our community’s commitment to develop the potential of its children. Thus, I’m delighted that this center brought together researchers, policymakers, and funding organizations to focus on the challenge of sustaining early childhood developmental gains. I want to thank Arthur Reynolds, Judy Temple, and Art Rolnick for leading this effort, and all of the participants of the conference and contributors to the volume for this signally important work. karen hanson Executive Vice President and Provost University of Minnesota

Acknowledgments

This volume is a product of the Human Capital Research Collaborative (HCRC), an interdisciplinary research center at the University of Minnesota. Since 2006, HCRC has been dedicated to promoting public policies and programs for young people through research and practice from birth to early adulthood. In support of this mission, HCRC conducts research on the determinants of well-being; investigates the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of social programs; synthesizes, integrates, and disseminates knowledge on socially significant topics; and designs and implements interventions to promote healthy development (http://hcrc.umn.edu). This is the third volume designed to highlight leading research and practice on critical topics in human capital, education, and child development. The first two books by HCRC, published by Cambridge University Press, were Childhood Programs and Practices in the First Decade of Life: A Human Capital Integration (2010) and Health and Education in Early Childhood: Predictors, Interventions, and Policies. The current volume’s focus on early learning gains and well-being is timely and of great social significance. Increasing and sustaining gains from many kinds of positive early childhood experiences is one of the major goals of our time in all human services. This volume provides many perspectives and strategies for effectively addressing both the challenges and opportunities. Preparation of this volume was supported, in part, by grants from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the US Department of Education. We thank the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis for hosting the conference upon which this volume is based, and for help in organizing the initial drafts of the chapters presented at the conference. We also thank Linda Rees-Christianson for assisting in the editing and administrative process in completing the final chapter preparations. We are grateful for the support of the College of Education, the Institute of Child Development, and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota for sharing and advancing common interests with HCRC in promoting the well-being of children and youth. xvii

1

Introduction Increasing and Sustaining Gains in Early Learning

Arthur J. Reynolds and Judy A. Temple

How gains from early childhood experiences are initiated, increased, and sustained is fundamental to developmental and educational science, and has increasing policy relevance given new public investments over the past decade. The effectiveness of these investments in producing gains is also critical for accountability and identifying future investment priorities. The challenge of maintaining gains has received increased attention as early childhood programs expand. Evidence from recent evaluations of state prekindergarten (Lipsey, Farren & Hofer, 2015) and federal Head Start programs (Puma, Bell, Cook et al., 2012) shows positive benefits but reduced gains as children matriculate into elementary school. Directly supporting the theme of this volume, more recent evidence reported by Johnson & Jackson (2018) demonstrates that the longerterm benefits of the early intervention of Head Start are bolstered by subsequent greater investments in public schools. Another example is Ansari & Pianta’s (2018) study that shows linkages between elementary school quality and the persistence of preschool effects. This is further supported by Reynolds, Ou, & Temple’s (2018) study of the long-term benefits of programs that continue into elementary school. This volume emphasizes not only key interventions and practices over the first decade of life that promote healthy development, but also elements and strategies through which learning gains can be enhanced by schools, families, communities, and public institutions. Scaling and expansion of effective programs also are considered. The approaches and principles covered in the volume that show evidence of enhancing learning gains include: (a) program dosage and quality; (b) teacher background, curriculum, and instruction; (c) preschool to third grade (P–3) continuity and alignment; and (d) school quality and family support. Lessons from long-term studies since the 1960s and from current practices will be described to help move the field forward. The chapter authors are leading researchers and thought leaders in the multidisciplinary fields of human development, education, and behavioral 1

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Arthur J. Reynolds and Judy A. Temple

science. Coverage of topics has a strong emphasis on policy and program improvement as well as translational research. Many implications for policy and practice are discussed. The book is based on a national invitational conference that was held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in October 2015. The chapters are updated versions of the papers presented at the conference. Sponsored by the Human Capital Research Collaborative (http://hcrc.umn.edu), an interdisciplinary research center at the University of Minnesota, this book is the third in the series on education and child development. Themes for Promoting Effectiveness The book addresses three key themes for research, policy, and practice. They have been a focus of multidisciplinary scholarship for decades, but have increased in priority as access to early education has expanded and evidence of effectiveness is more valued. Theme 1: Assessing the Impacts of Increased Investment in Early Childhood. The first is the importance of documenting the impact of increased federal and state investments in early childhood development. In recent years, public funding of early childhood programs has continued to grow. The US Department of Education’s Race to the Top and Preschool Development Grants to states, enhancements in federal Head Start programs and Child Care and Development Block Grants, and state expansion of prekindergarten programs total more than $5 billion in new funding over the past five years. Total public funding at all levels exceeds $30 billion annually (Council of Economic Advisors, 2015, 2016), which is a doubling of investment over the past two decades (US General Accounting Office, 1999). Public–private sector initiatives, such as Pay for Success, have also been implemented to expand access (Government Accountability Office, 2015; Temple & Reynolds, 2015). Documenting and understanding the extent to which these investments lead to sustained gains in the elementary grades is of great importance not only for accountability but for identifying the elements of programs and contexts that promote longer-term effects on achievement, socio-emotional learning, and educational attainment. As a consequence of new investments, program participation has increased. Figure 1.1 shows that enrollment of 4-year-olds in public preschool (state pre-K, Head Start, special education) has increased from a decade ago to 43% (NIEER, 2017). For 3-year-olds, 16% are enrolled. Because these rates do not include federal Title I and local funding, they are likely to have been underestimated by at least 5 percentage points. Fullday preschool enrollment also has increased to 54% (includes 3- and

Introduction: Increasing and Sustaining Gains in Early Learning

3

90 80

78.9 80.5 66.2 65.9

70 60

49.3

50

54

43

40

34.6

30 20 10 0 Any nonparental care

State Prek/Head Start/Special Ed 2005–06

Any center-based preschool

Full-day preschool

2015–16

Figure 1.1 Percentage of US 4-year-olds in early education

4-year-olds). Although 80% of 4-year-olds are in nonparental care for at least part of the day (about 3.2 million out of 4 million children), this is relatively unchanged from a decade ago (US Department of Education, 2017). This indicates that it is the type of early education that has changed the most rather than enrollment itself. Consequently, understanding and addressing ways to improve quality and the size of impacts over time has the potential to improve the well-being of millions of young children each year. It also increases the importance of regular accountability to ensure programs are providing sufficient benefits that can be sustained. Differences in enrollment by socio-economic status, race, and ethnicity continue to be large. Parental education is a good predictor of enrollment in center-based programs, as 18% of children whose parents were high school dropouts were enrolled in such programs compared to 41% for those with advanced degrees (US Department of Education, 2016). A similar pattern occurs for family income, with enrollment in centerbased programs nearly three times higher for nonpoor children than poor children (US Department of Education, 2016). Hispanic and American Indian children are less likely to participate in center- and school-based preschools (42% and 46%, respectively) compared to White and Black children (49% and 53%, respectively). Dual-language learners of all ethnicities are underrepresented in programs (42%) relative to Englishlanguage-only children (48%; Park et al., 2017). Participation across P–3 should be fully inclusive and strive to tailor instruction to promote learning optimally.

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Arthur J. Reynolds and Judy A. Temple

Many chapters discuss the lessons from landmark and current projects to inform policy and program improvement. Extensive research has consistently shown that participation in effective preschool and early education programs can improve school readiness skills and subject matter achievement, and can reduce the need for later remedial education services (Camilli et al., 2010; Cannon et al., 2017). Ensuring that these benefits continue for contemporary programs and for children from diverse backgrounds and experiences is a major goal. Access to high quality programs that support the transition to school and can also lead to long-term benefits is highlighted. The measurement of sustained effects and methodological issues about successfully tracking cohorts and monitoring implementation quality is salient as well. Theme 2: Focus on Key Elements and Principles of Effectiveness. The second theme of the volume is a comprehensive focus on the elements and principles for sustaining gains in well-being. These elements are also the presumed causes of why continued gains are not observed for many programs and interventions. A major limitation in the field is a focus on one or two of the elements or principles, such as insufficient program quality or poor elementary school quality, without addressing the full scope of possibilities. This may involve, for example, teacher educational and preservice background, class size and support staff, high mobility from preschool to the school grades, differences in class sizes or curriculum, or inconsistent family involvement over time. These explanations have not been fully explored for state pre-K programs, Head Start, and similar programs. Historically, early childhood programs were designed to promote the development of children with elevated risks of poor cognitive, socioemotional, and parenting outcomes. Center-based and family-focused programs provided intensive and enriching educational experiences from birth to age 5 to improve foundational skills for school success and social competence (Consortium for Longitudinal Studies, 1983). Influenced by the environmentalism of the 1960s, intellectual effects of programs were emphasized, especially gains in IQ scores (Zigler & Trickett, 1978). Over time, the scope of outcomes expanded to school and social competence, school readiness, and to the current conception of well-being. Whether improvements in learning and well-being are sustained throughout childhood and into adulthood depends to a large extent on the quality of the program. For example, the landmark prospective cohort studies of the Cornell Consortium, Perry Preschool, Abecedarian Project, and Child–Parent Centers all showed large preschool gains that were

Introduction: Increasing and Sustaining Gains in Early Learning

5

sustained to adulthood. For three of the program evaluations, economic returns exceeded costs by at least a factor of 3. The key common elements of the programs were (a) small classes and child-to-staff ratios no higher than 17:2; (b) an intensive focus on language and literacy within a wholechild, developmental philosophy; (c) comprehensive family services; (d) staff compensation that was competitive with public schools; and (e) frequent monitoring and feedback for improvement. Most current programs financed by states and school districts have few of the key elements of the landmark studies. Child-to-staff ratios are usually 20:2. Family services and expectations for parent involvement are minimal. Curriculum and instruction often lack a strong evidence base, and emphasize teacher-directed activities. Program monitoring is cursory, and is designed for accountability rather than improvement. Costs per child are also lower. As one illustration, the Tennessee Voluntary Prekindergarten program may be classified as a routine state pre-K program based on these criteria. Child-to-staff ratios are 20:2, and although full-day services are provided, none of the comprehensive family services found in the landmark studies are evident. A recent experimental study of the program found positive effects at the end of preschool but no detectable effects on learning from kindergarten to third grade (Lipsey, Farren & Hofer, 2015). This is not surprising given the accumulated evidence that only high-quality programs that follow the established principles of effectiveness from the field yield long-term effects. Table 1.1 shows three common sets of program elements that promote effectiveness in early childhood programs. Programs for preschool children and beyond that meet more of these elements are likely to have larger and more enduring effects than those meeting fewer of the elements (Cannon et al., 2017; Reynolds et al., 2010). Zigler et al.’s (2006) and the National Institute of Early Education Research’s (NIEER, 2017) effectiveness elements are similar in most respects, with the Zigler framework including parent involvement as a key element. The Child–Parent Center (CPC) elements described in Reynolds et al. (2017) also emphasize parent involvement as well as curriculum alignment and continuity across ages and grades. The organizational component of collaborative leadership helps create a positive learning environment that is further enhanced by professional development for staff. How these common elements align with key principles of effective intervention described by Ramey and Ramey (1998) is noted in the last column. Among the six principles are: developmental timing, program intensity, and ecological and environmental maintenance of development. They are reasonably represented by the three frameworks, though not perfectly. Environmental maintenance of development, which is

Table 1.1 Core elements of early childhood programs and services and linkage to key principles of effectiveness

CPC–P–3 Program Elements Reynolds et al. 2017

Essential Elements of HighQuality Pre-K Gates Foundation 2015

Zigler et al. 2006

Collaborative leadership Strong leadership Monitoring system with onA team led by head teacher to Integrated system of learning site observation create a strong learning goals, curriculum, climate professional development, Delegated responsibilities for formative assessments, and curriculum, family support data

NIEER 2016

Key Principles Ramey & Ramey 1998

Monitoring with site visits at least once every five years

Environmental maintenance of development

Maximum ratio of 10 children per staff member Maximum class size of 20 Teacher has BA degree Teacher has specialized training Assistant has CDA or equivalent

Developmental timing Program intensity Direct provision of learning experiences Individual differences in program benefits

Effective learning experiences Small classes (