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Preschool Adequacy and Efficiency in California

Preschool Adequacy and Efficiency in California: Issues, Policy Options, and Recommendations

Lynn A. Karoly
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 196
  • Book Info
    Preschool Adequacy and Efficiency in California
    Book Description:

    The California Preschool Study examined gaps in school readiness and achievement in the early grades among California children and the potential for high-quality preschool to close those gaps, the use of early care and education (ECE) services and their quality, and the system of publicly funded ECE programs for three- and four-year-olds. This analysis integrates the results from the prior studies and makes recommendations for preschool policy.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4761-8
    Subjects: Sociology, Management & Organizational Behavior, Education

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-vi)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Figures
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xv-xxx)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxxi-xxxii)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxxiii-xxxvi)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-18)

    One of the primary motivations for education reform in California, as in other states, is the need to raise the overall levels of student achievement and, even more importantly, to narrow the often substantial achievement gaps between low-and high-performing students. A central question in the education-reform debate is the adequacy of the state’s education system to ensure that all California students can succeed and become productive citizens. State and local budget constraints have also prompted efforts to reexamine resource allocations to see that dollars are being invested to ensure a high return. Thus, the efficiency of the state’s public education...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Adequacy and Efficiency of Preschool Education in California
    (pp. 19-66)

    In support of our study of preschool adequacy and efficiency, we conducted three in-depth studies designed to do the following:

    Measure the gaps in school readiness and academic achievement in the early grades among California’s children and assess the potential for high-quality preschool education to narrow readiness and achievement gaps (Cannon and Karoly, 2007b).

    Assess the nature and quality of the ECE arrangements for California’s preschool-age children—those who are one or two years away from kindergarten entry (Karoly, Ghosh-Dastidar, et al., 2008a).

    Examine the system of publicly funded ECE programs in California that serve children in the two years...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Design Options for State Preschool Systems
    (pp. 67-92)

    The past decade has been an active period for policy change in preschool systems at the state level. Some states have started from a base of no state funding for preschool programs and have built a reasonably rational system from the ground up, starting with first principles. Others have modified or added to an existing system that may have been created decades earlier. Those existing systems, at any given time, were the product of prior reforms that often were expedient or reasonable in the context of the system that had evolved up to that time but that may no longer...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Recommendations for Preschool Policy in California
    (pp. 93-122)

    Advancing preschool adequacy in California means increasing participation rates for more-disadvantaged children while raising quality for the same children, if not all children in preschool. In focusing on quality, policymakers can build on the success in delivering programs that do relatively well on such features as group size and child-staff ratios and advance higher quality for program features that are more likely to fall short of quality benchmarks and are important for child development. The quality features for which there is room for improvement include preparing and supporting teachers to use approaches in the classroom that foster the readiness skills...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Conclusions
    (pp. 123-134)

    The goal of the California Preschool Study has been to assess the adequacy and efficiency of preschool education in California and to identify strategies, using existing or new resources, to remedy shortfalls on either dimension. In this concluding chapter, we summarize the issues, options, and recommendations discussed in earlier chapters and draw out the broader implications of the policy recommendations.

    The cumulative body of evidence from the series of studies conducted as part of our investigation of preschool adequacy and efficiency and summarized in Chapter Two has identified a number of shortcomings on both fronts. In terms of adequacy, the...

  14. APPENDIX Supplement to the Targeting Analysis in Chapter Four
    (pp. 135-146)
  15. References
    (pp. 147-160)