Date of Award

Spring 2-20-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

EdD Education Leadership, Management and Policy

Department

Education Leadership, Management and Policy

Advisor

Anthony Colella, Ph.D

Committee Member

Barbara Strobert, Ed.D

Committee Member

Marilyn Birnbaum, Ed.D

Committee Member

Robert Rich, Ed.D

Keywords

early childhood, elementary education, academic achievement, NJ ASK 3

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of early childhood program participation on academic achievement by grade 3. This case study utilized a quantitative approach to data collection. For purposes of this research, one P-12 school district in central New Jersey was studied to look at the influence of early childhood program participation on academic achievement as measured by the NJ ASK 3. A quantitative approach to this research was used to remove opinions and perceptions from the data collection. Quantitative data was collected through demographic information and NJ ASK 3 results for students who participated in the early childhood program within the school district and continued through the same public school system through grade 3.

The research question for this study was, How does participation in the early childhood program in one P-12 school district in central New Jersey influence academic outcomes as measured by the NJ ASK 3 for those students? In order to address the research question, the data analysis began with an in-depth look at the influence of early childhood program participation as measured by the NJ ASK 3 when controlling for individual variables. For each of the individual variables, regressions were run for language arts literacy and mathematics. The purpose was to see how the primary variable, early childhood program participation, interacted with the other variables. Based upon these results, the researcher ran additional regressions with early childhood program participation and all other significant variables to ascertain the influence of early childhood program participation on the overall model. Findings revealed that although early childhood program participation was significant when controlling for individual variables, it was not significant in the overall model.

Recommendations for policy, practice, and future research were evident based upon this study. In terms of policy, decision makers may wish to review mandates surrounding early childhood programs. Practice recommendations include the creation of alternatives to early childhood programs in schools and districts. Future research may center on qualitative studies which provide information about administrator and teacher perceptions on early childhood program participation and academic achievement by grade 3.

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