Socioeconomic Status, Math Achievement, and Head Start Attendance

  • Reese Cogswell Temple University

Abstract

Research has shown that socioeconomic status impacts student achievement consistently over time and there have been several suggestions in mediating this effect. Most notably may be preschool attendance, and especially publicly funded programs like Head Start. The nationwide program aims to serve primarily low-income youth, but has been reported to experience major fadeout in the early years of elementary school. Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study: Kindergarten Cohort 1998-9, this study exhibits the expected and persistent positive effects of SES on student math achievement, as well as the effectiveness of Head Start in mediating this effect and equalizing the opportunity for educational achievement in mathematics. Implications of these findings are discussed in the context of Head Start implementation across the country, and the general need for universal preschool to minimize the effects of SES on long-term academic achievement. 

Author Biography

Reese Cogswell, Temple University

Reese Cogswell is an undergraduate Sociology major and Social Work minor at Temple University.

References

Ansari, A. (2018). “The Persistence of Preschool Effects From Early Childhood Through Adolescence” in Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol. 110, No. 7, pp. 952-973. American Psychological Association.

Bassok, D., Finch, J. E., Lee, R., Reardon, S. F., and Waldfogel, J. (2016). “Socioeconomic Gaps in Early Childhood Experiences: 1998 to 2010” in AERA Open, Vol. 2, No. 3, pp. 1-22.

Bassok, D., Gibbs, C. R., Latham, S. (2018). “Preschool and Children’s Outcomes in Elementary School: Have Patterns Changed Nationwide Between 1998 and 2010?” in Child Development. Society for Research in Child Development.

Byrnes, J. P. and Wasik, B. A. (2009). “Factors predictive of mathematics achievement in kindergarten, first and third grades: An opportunity – propensity analysis” in Contemporary Educational Psychology, Vol. 34, pp. 167-183.

Claessens, A., Engel, M., Curran, F. C. (2013). “Academic Content, Student Learning, and the Persistence of Preschool Effects” in American Educational Research Journal, Vol. 51, No. 2, pp. 403-434. AERA.

Gormley, Jr., W., Phillips, D., Anderson, S. (2017). “The Effects of Tulsa’s Pre-K Program on Middle School Student Performance” in Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Vol. 37, No. 1, pp. 63-87. Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

Heid, C. et al. (2012). Third Grade Follow-Up to the Head Start Impact Study: Final Report. OPRE Report #2012-45b. Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation. Administration for Children and Families. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Washington, DC.

Isaacs, J. B. (2012). “Starting School at a Disadvantage: The School Readiness of Poor Children” from The Social Genome Project. Center on Children and Families at Brookings.

Kline, P., and Walters, C. R. (2016). “Evaluating Public Programs with Close Substitutes: The Case of Head Start” in The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 131, No. 4, pp. 1795-1848. Oxford University Press.

Lam, G. (2014). “A Theoretical Framework of the Relation Between Socioeconomic Status and Academic Achievement of Students” in Education, Vol. 134, No. 3, pp. 326-331. Project Innovation, Inc.

National Center for Education Statistics. (2012). Early Childhood Longitudinal Study [United States]: Kindergarten Class of 1998-1999, Kindergarten-Eighth Grade Full Sample. United States Department of Education. Institute of Education Sciences.

National Center for Education Statistics. (2012). NCES Handbook of Survey Methods: Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS). United States Department of Education. Institute of Education Sciences.

National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER). (2016). State(s) of Head Start: Executive Summary. Retrieved from http://nieer.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/HS_Executive_Summary_ States_of_Head_Start.pdf

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE). (2012). “Examining the Predictive Power of Children’s School Readiness Skills” an ASPE Research Brief. Office of Human Services Policy. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Phillips, D., Gormley, W. and Anderson, S. (2016). “The Effects of Tulsa’s CAP Head Start Program on Middle-School Academic Outcomes and Progress” in Developmental Psychology, Vol. 52, No. 8, pp. 1247-1261. American Psychological Association.

Puma, M., Bell, S., Cook, R., and Heid, C. (2010). Head Start Impact Study: Final Report Executive Summary. Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation. Administration for Children and Families. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Washington, DC.

Sirin, S. R. (2005). “Socioeconomic Status and Academic Achievement: A Meta-Analytic Review of Research” in Review of Educational Research, Vol. 75, No. 3, pp. 417-453.

Yoshikawa, H., Weiland, C., Brooks-Gunn, J. (2016). “When Does Preschool Matter?” in The Future of Children, Vol. 26, No. 2, Starting Early: Education from Pre Kindergarten to Third Grade, pp. 21-35. Princeton University.
Published
2019-05-25
How to Cite
Cogswell, R. (2019). Socioeconomic Status, Math Achievement, and Head Start Attendance. Perceptions, 5(2). https://doi.org/10.15367/pj.v5i2.199