Pre-K benefits faded in Tennessee — but not for the reasons you think, says new study

August 02, 2019

When a landmark study found that children in Tennessee’s pre-K program eventually fared worse than peers who didn’t participate, the surprising results unleashed a new wave of research to understand why.

Now the latest examination of the same program suggests that the pre-K program may not be the culprit. Rather, it’s what those students experience in kindergarten, first, second, and third grade that helps determine whether early academic gains will continue or flicker out.

The early findings, released last month by the Annenberg Institute at Brown University, says pre-K students maintained their advances in math and reading through at least the third grade if exposed in the early grades to highly effective teachers and a high-quality school.