EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION IN IDAHO
- All kids benefit from preschool, but poor and disadvantaged kids make the most gains.
- Dual language learners show large benefits in both developing English language proficiency and academic skills
- Successful programs rely on well implemented evidenced-based curriculum delivered by teachers that have received quality training
Here’s one example from a rural community in the Treasure Valley with a high percentage of poverty (61% of its children in grades K-3 are eligible for free and reduced lunches):
The Weiser School District conducted an informal study of the preparedness of children for kindergarten by administering a pre-reading and math assessment when those children registered for school. The children who had been enrolled in a center-based preschool program scored twice as high on the readiness assessment. In the most recent administration of the fall IRI (2019) those children who had participated in a preschool program scored significantly higher on the iStation reading assessment than those students who had not participated. Fifty percent (50%) of the children who had participated in preschool were rated “at grade level” on their first IRI compared to 12% of their peers who had not participated in any program.
The evidence continues to mount in favor of providing pre-school opportunities for children in Idaho.