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Research Shows Lasting Gains of Preschool Programs

The High/Scope Perry Preschool Project is one of the best-known studies of the long-term effects of a high-quality prekindergarten education. It examines the lives of 123 African Americans born in poverty and at high risk of failing in school. The young people were tracked from age 3 or 4 through age 27. The study showed that, among other things:

  • By age 27, over 33 percent of the children who attended the Perry program owned their own homes, compared with 7 percent of the control group.

  • Four times as many Perry students as control group students were earning at least $2,000 a month.

  • Two-thirds of the former Perry kids graduated from high school on time, compared with less than half of the control group.

  • Only 15 percent of the Perry kids required special-education services, compared with more than 33 percent of the control group.

  • The Perry group was also less likely to receive welfare or be arrested for a crime, and the women were five times as likely to be married and less likely to have out-of-wedlock births.

Read more about the High/Scope Perry Preschool Study on the High/Scope Web site.


Adapted from an article in Education Week (2004).