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Quality and Characteristics of the North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten Program: 2011-2012 Statewide Evaluation.

ERIC Descriptors: Preschool Education; Preschool Children; At Risk Students; State Programs; Program Evaluation; Preschool Teachers; Teacher Attitudes; Teaching Conditions; Teacher Persistence; Educational Quality; Teacher Surveys; Teacher Student Relationship; Classroom Environment; Predictor Variables; Student Characteristics; Teacher Characteristics; Class Size; Public Schools; Private Schools; Attendance; Preschool Curriculum

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The North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten Program (NC Pre-K) is a state-funded initiative for at-risk 4-year-olds, designed to provide a high quality, classroom-based educational program during the year prior to kindergarten entry. Children are eligible for NC Pre-K based on age, family income (at or below 75% of state median income), and other risk factors (limited English proficiency, identified disability, chronic health condition, and developmental/educational need). In the 2011-2012 year, the NC Pre-K Program served over 29,000 children in a variety of settings across the state, including local school systems, private providers, and blended Head Start/pre-k classrooms. The 2011-2012 evaluation study included information about characteristics of the NC Pre-K Program statewide and observations of classroom quality and teacher surveys in a random sample of 100 classrooms. The primary research questions addressed by this evaluation included: (1) What were the key characteristics of the local NC Pre-K programs?; (2) What was the quality of the NC Pre-K classrooms attended by children?; (3) What factors were associated with better quality?; and (4) To what extent were these results similar to past years under the More at Four Program? Key findings of this study include: (1) The NC Pre-K Program has not changed substantially in comparison to prior years of its predecessor program More at Four; (2) There were a few aspects in which the NC Pre-K Program differed in comparison to prior years of the More at Four Program; (3) NC Pre-K teachers generally reported being satisfied with their work environment; (4) NC Pre-K teachers reported that they planned to remain in the early childhood field; (5) The quality of classroom practices in NC Pre-K was in the medium to high range overall; and (6) The quality of the NC Pre-K classrooms was similar in almost all areas when compared to recent years of More at Four. (Contains 7 figures, 25 tables, and 9 endnotes.) [For "Quality and Characteristics of the North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten Program: 2011-2012 Statewide Evaluation. Executive Summary," see ED541934.]

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Author:Peisner-Feinberg, Ellen; Schaaf, Jennifer; Hildebrandt, Lisa; LaForett, Dore
Publication:ERIC: Reports
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1U5NC
Date:Mar 1, 2013
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