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The effects of universal pre-k in Oklahoma: Research highlights and policy implications

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CROCUS working paper #2
Gormley Jr., William and Phillips, Deborah
Publication Date: 
28 Oct 2003

Available in print for order (see SOURCE) and online for download.

Excerpts from press release

Oklahoma’s state-funded pre-kindergarten program, available to all four year olds in participating school districts, is producing impressive gains for disadvantaged children.

An evaluation of the Tulsa Public Schools’ pre-K program by researchers at Georgetown University found substantial gains in cognitive skills and language skills for low-income children. The study also found stronger effects for full-day than for half-day programs.

“Kindergarten children who participated in the Tulsa pre-K program are better prepared for school than those who did not,” said lead researcher William Gormley, Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University. “The Oklahoma experiment is giving many children the boost they need to start school with a higher-level of skills.”

According to Gormley, the Oklahoma program is unusual in two respects: “First, the Oklahoma program is available to all four-year olds, in Tulsa and other participating school districts, irrespective of income. Only two other states have a similar arrangement. Second, the Oklahoma program relies primarily on the public schools to deliver pre-K services.”