With funding from the Meadows Foundation and the Miles Foundation, researchers at CHILDREN AT RISK engaged in a study to examine how participation in Texas public PreKindergarten Pre-K1 is associated with performance on the 3rd Grade State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) Reading assessment.

CHILDREN AT RISK tracked approximately 47,000 students from the 2010-2011 school year to the 2014-2015 school year.2 These students began public Pre-K in 2010 and completed 3rd grade in 2015. The study focused on five major independent school districts (ISD) in Texas (Austin ISD, Dallas ISD, Fort Worth ISD, Houston ISD, and San Antonio ISD) and 12 additional school districts surrounding these major metropolitan areas.3 The purpose of this report is twofold.

The first purpose is to educate parents, policy makers, and the public about the association between Texas public Pre-K and 3rd grade STAAR Reading outcomes. Across campuses and students, this study examines the relationship between varying levels of public Pre-K participation and STAAR Reading scores by comparing 3rd grade STAAR Reading means among multiple sub-groups of economically disadvantaged students. The second purpose is to offer policy recommendations that will increase access to and improve the quality of the Texas public Pre-K program on behalf of parents, taxpayers, and—most importantly—children.

Author Biography

Research and production conducted by CHILDREN AT RISK.

Robert Sanborn, Ed. D., President & CEO

Katie McConnell, Ed. D., Chief Operating Officer

Mandi Sheridan Kimball, MSW Director, Public Policy and Government Affairs

Andy Canales, M.S.Ed. Director, Center for Social Measurement and Evaluation

Jesus Davila, MPP Assistant Director, Center for Social Measurement and Evaluation

Shay Everitt, MSW Assistant Director, Public Policy and Early Education

Kellie O’Quinn, MSW Assistant Director, Public Policy and Early Education

Claire Treacy Project Coordinator, Center for Social Measurement and Evaluation

Carlos Villegas, M.A. Center for Social Measurement and Evaluation


This report was prepared with the extensive participation of the Texas Education Agency. The Texas Education Agency provided valuable data and information that was used in this report to examine the association between participation in the Texas public Pre-Kindergarten program in 2010-2011 and reading scores on the 2014-2015 3rd Grade STAAR Assessment. CHILDREN AT RISK thanks the Texas Education Agency and school principals throughout Texas who documented and shared their experiences in educating children with varying levels of Pre-K attendance. Their time and feedback were essential to the success of this research.

This report was made possible through the generous support of the Meadows Foundation and Miles Foundation. Additionally, this report builds off the most recent CHILDREN AT RISK 2014 Texas Pre-K study supported by the Meadows Foundation and the Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium. We appreciate their commitment to quality early education and better outcomes for families in Texas.