State's early childhood education praised

Thursday, June 26th 2008, 11:06 pm
By: News 9

Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A study led by a Georgetown University professor says 4-year-olds in Oklahoma's pre-kindergarten program are outperforming 4-year-olds in a similar federal program.

Professor William Gormley and his colleagues tested about 3,500 incoming kindergartners in Tulsa Public Schools and children entering Tulsa's pre-K program.

They also tested those entering the federal Head Start program.

Gormley says Tulsa's pre-K program increases pre-reading skills by 9 months, pre-writing skills by 7 months and pre-math skills by 5 months.

He says the study found Head Start improves pre-reading skills by 6 months, pre-writing skills by 3 months and pre-math skills by the same 5 months as the state program.

Oklahoma's pre-K program was established statewide in 1998 and Gormley calls it a "beacon" for those who support early childhood education programs.

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