MDRC in the News

These Early Math Supports Translated to Gains Later on for Vulnerable Students

Education Week

12/2021

Immediate academic gains from early-childhood programs often fade as children move into upper elementary school. But a new study suggests math supports in the earliest grades may build on each other over years to create longer-term benefits in math achievement and attendance…..

…..In the latest report of an ongoing evaluation of the Making Pre-K Count and High 5s math programs in New York City schools, the research group MDRC found neither program on its own led to significant, sustained math gains by 3rd grade. Yet students who participated in both the preschool and the kindergarten interventions performed significantly better in math and were less likely to miss school by grade 3, compared with students who did not participate…..

…..Shira Mattera, the study author, said the results suggest “the effects seem to be particularly pronounced for children with the most room to grow.”…..

…..Moreover, the researchers found that 28 percent of the students who participated in two years of math enrichment were chronically absent—meaning they missed 10 percent or more of school days—in grade 3, compared with 37 percent of 3rd graders who had not received the early math services…..

…..These academic and attendance benefits may be particularly important for school districts working to catch up large cohorts of students who are now entering preschool with less formal early-childhood education as a result of the pandemic…..

Full Article