A Data-Driven Approach to Kindergarten Readiness and the Importance of the Preschool Years: A Partnership between Researchers, Practitioners and Stakeholders
Project Team: 
Jessica Logan, PhD
Senior Researcher, Methodology and Statistics, The Ohio State University
Ben Kelcey, PhD
Assistant Professor, University of Cincinnati
Jill Pentimonti, PhD
Senior Researcher, Data Management, The Ohio State University
Shayne Piasta, PhD
Assistant Professor, The Ohio State University
Barb Boyd
President, Learning Circle Education Services
Sandra Miller
Project Director Early Education, Learn4Life
Key Words: 
Kindergarten Readiness
Early Childhood Education
Researcher-Practitioner Partnership

The present application seeks to identify and answer pressing questions in regards to the role of preschool on children’s kindergarten readiness. A partnership is proposed, with the research questions generated by a panel of educators and stakeholders, working directly with statistical guidance from the research team who will analyze the data in a systematic and rigorous way. Findings will be disseminated to a broad community of researchers, stakeholders, and educators. The sample involved in the proposed study will be drawn from three sources. First, the OERC will provide children’s primary school educational outcomes, family employment, and family educational attainment. This data will be matched to a database of children enrolled in state-funded Columbus preschools (by Learning Circle), and a database of extensive information about the cognitive abilities and activities in early childhood education programs for over 1000 children (APPLE: Ohio ).

The four identified questions will follow a three-month-cycle from initial conceptualization to dissemination, with monthly updates to ensure accountability. One such question is the identification of potential early childhood center characteristics that are related to successful school transition. These will be identified using propensity score matching of students based on their demo graphic information, but who differ in their early childhood experiences. There is anticipatation of broad dissemination activities including white papers, presentations and roundtable discussions with educational stakeholders, and presentation to education professionals. It is also hoped that this partnership will begin a tradition of data-drive decision making for questions in early education.