Date of Award

Spring 5-22-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Trevor Turner, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Darrell Groves, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Chandra Walker, Ed.D.

Abstract

This quantitative study focused on the impacts of the pre-kindergarten experience in a large urban district in Georgia. With the ongoing pursuit across the nation to be globally competitive with the education of our youth, this study analyzed multiple factors that can impact student achievement, with an emphasis on the kindergarten readiness variable. The research was conducted within two schools in the same urban district with third graders (who were continually enrolled in the school since kindergarten) and their parents, along with kindergarten and first grade teachers in the same schools. The data collected was analyzed using Pearson correlation, ANOVA, regression analysis, Cronbach’s Alpha, and an item to scale test of content validity. In a population where the socioeconomic status is extremely similar, the research concluded that there is no direct significant relationship between student achievement and pre-kindergarten attendance. In the qualitative portion of this study, teachers noted that these students do begin school behind peers and the instructional practices they put in place close the initial gaps in student learning. Both the quantitative and qualitative portions of this study identify parent engagement as a significant variable in student achievement, student readiness, and student participation in early learning experiences. The researcher provided recommendations to educational policy makers, school district leaders, school administrators, and future researchers based on study findings.