Vanderburgh County has been chosen as one of five counties in Indiana that will take part in the Pre-K pilot program beginning early next year.
Gov. Mike Pence’s office announced the selections Tuesday from among 18 finalists. This year’s Indiana General Assembly established the pilot program, which is intended to prepare low-income four-year-olds for kindergarten.
“Every Indiana child deserves to start kindergarten ready to learn and to begin a lifetime of learning,” said Governor Pence in a written statement. “Today, I am pleased to accept the recommendations of our working group. The state looks forward to partnering with these counties and working to ensure that these resources are made available to assist some of our most vulnerable children early next year.”
The governor’s office says the selections were based on need and ability of each county to meet that need.
The four other Indiana counties include Allen, Jackson, Lake and Marion.
Some early results released from a Vanderbilt University study on the impact of pre-K education show a mixed bag. The findings so far indicate that Tennessee children who make big gains in math, reading, and language by attending pre-kindergarten don’t stay ahead of their peers for long.
But the research also shows those same children can learn other behaviors that benefit them down the road.
The Tennessean reports that Vanderbilt University researchers are counseling patience regarding the unprecedented study, which follows 3,000 Tennessee children from age 4 through third grade, through the year 2015.
One early takeaway from the study: students who attend preschool are promoted from kindergarten to first grade at twice the rate of those who don’t, and have higher first grade attendance. Researchers are wondering whether those kinds of achievements are actually better predictors of long-term academic success, as opposed to focusing solely on a child’s early academic abilities.