The Influence of School Quality on Fifth and Eighth Grade Outcomes of Public-school Pre-k and Center-based Preschool Programs

Kaitlyn Mumma

Advisor: Adam Winsler, PhD, Department of Psychology

Committee Members: Timothy Curby, William Gormley

David J. King Hall, #1025
December 02, 2019, 01:30 PM to 03:00 PM


The following dissertation investigates longitudinal effects of preschool programs, the “preschool fadeout effect,” and how later school quality may moderate later group differences observed between children who did and did not attend certain preschool programs. The preschool fadeout effect refers to research that shows that regardless of preschool program attended, children often perform at about the same level on various academic achievement outcomes by third grade. However, the quality of school that children later attend has been shown to influence these group differences (or lack thereof). The present study will conduct hierarchical models on 5th and 8th grade data (N = 33,933; 60.27% Hispanic/Latinx, 32.95% Black, 6.78% White/Other) from the Miami School Readiness Project (MSRP). I will use these data to address the following research questions: 1) Are there sustained positive effects of public school pre-K programs in 5th and 8th grade, relative to center-based programs (CBC) and family childcare (FCC) programs? 2) Do children who attended pre-K programs attend elementary and middle schools of different quality compared to children who attended CBC or FCC programs? 3) To what extent are sustained pre-K program effects on 5th and 8th grade outcomes dependent on the quality of school attended in 5th grade? 4) Are differential fadeout effects associated with school quality similar for males and females, and for Black or Hispanic/Latinx students?