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New Report : Pre-K + Half Day K = Reading Success

In early November the National School Boards Association's Center for Public Education released a report showing that children who attended pre-K plus half-day kindergarten were more likely to read at high levels by the third grade than children who attended only full-day kindergarten.

The impact of pre-K plus half-day kindergarten was greatest for low-income children, English-language learners, Hispanics and African-American children.

While the report did not examine the quality of the programs attended, the impact appears to exist regardless of program quality.

These findings come at a time when cash-strapped districts across the country are looking for ways to save money on early education. The report acknowledges that pre-K plus full-day kindergarten is the combination that produces the most academic gains for students, and cautions that half-day kindergarten alone produces the least benefit for students.

A better strategy, the report suggests, is to add pre-K to existing kindergarten programs—either full-day or half-day—to produce gains for the most students.

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