The preschool fade

Georgia’s Preschool System Gets High Marks, proclaims the LA Times. Georgia provides full-day preschool to all four-year-olds, regardless of financial need. The program, which started in 1995, is very popular. But the academic gains fade away in a few years.

Although research shows clear academic gains through kindergarten and first grade, the advantages fade in second and third grade, said Gary Henry, a policy studies professor at Georgia State University who has been studying the state’s preschools since 1995. . .

Pat Willis, executive director of the Atlanta-based nonprofit Voices for Georgia’s Children, has concerns about the program’s effectiveness. Despite a threefold increase in 4-year-olds’ participation in preschool in recent years, the state has reaped few benefits on national assessments of students’ knowledge.

“Georgia really isn’t reading very well compared to the nation’s fourth-graders,” she said. “Surely we should be seeing a difference” by now.

Californians will vote June 6 for a $2.4 billion a year universal preschool measure that provides less for disadvantaged children than Georgia’s full-day program. It’s being sold to voters as a way to boost school achievement and lower the crime rate. It’s an empty promise.

About Joanne


  1. Ryan Grant says:

    Does this speak more to the ineffectiveness of pre-schoolers, or the ineffectiveness of the teachers in the primary grades in Georgia?

  2. Fatherofyoungones says:

    Education professionals have acknowledged the phenomenon of preschool fade since the earliest days of Head Start. When compared with students of other nations, our performance begins to fade with later elementary and middle schools. Our schools simply are not focused on the importance of upper elementary years.

    It should be noted that an intensive early intervention is of no/little use unless the continuum of education has a similar intensity.