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A Reanalysis of Impacts of the Tennessee Voluntary Prekindergarten Program

We present a reanalysis of the Tennessee Voluntary Prekindergarten Program (TNVPK), a state-funded program designed to promote the school readiness of 4-year-olds from low-income families. Oversubscribed programs used a lottery to randomly assign prospective enrollees a chance to attend TNVPK. We found that assignment to the program had largely null effects on measures of behavior, attendance, and retention collected during elementary school. TNVPK increased enrollment in special education by 4% between kindergarten and grade 3, and generated negative but generally statistically insignificant impacts on third-grade state test scores. We explore reasons for fadeout as well as threats to internal validity.

Pre-kindergarten programs, RCT
Education level
Document Object Identifier (DOI)

EdWorkingPaper suggested citation:

Watts, Tyler, Greg J. Duncan, and Mariela Rivas. (). A Reanalysis of Impacts of the Tennessee Voluntary Prekindergarten Program. (EdWorkingPaper: 19-28). Retrieved from Annenberg Institute at Brown University:

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