Making Pre-K Count: Kindergarten Expansion

The Robin Hood Foundation and MDRC have partnered to establish the Robin Hood Early Childhood Initiative, with the goal of identifying, implementing, and rigorously evaluating promising solutions that can dramatically improve the life trajectories of low-income preschoolers in New York City, particularly with respect to long-term academic success, reduced criminal activity, and increased adult earnings. The first initiative is designed to reduce poverty by narrowing the persistent achievement gap between low-income children and their higher-income peers through a curriculum-based intervention. The first initiative was focused on enhancing math instruction as a key component of a preschool intervention model. We are now ready to explore avenues for a second initiative which would focus on expanding the preschool intervention into NYC kindergarten classrooms. To do so, we are embarking on a line of work to investigate what supplemental kindergarten math programs are available and what evidence exists regarding their implementation feasibility and effectiveness. We will also engage in an assessment of the feasibility of placing such an intervention in NYC schools, with a particular focus on what is already done in NYC Kindergartens around math, both in-classroom and outside of the classroom (e.g., tutoring in groups or individually).