Predicting Early and Later Reading Achievement of Children from Low-Income Families from Skills Measured at Kindergarten Entrance

Kevin H. O'Donnell, Westat, Inc.
Nicholas Zill, Westat, Inc.

Recent research on young children at entrance to school demonstrates the importance of both “inside-out” skills such as phonological awareness and letter and word decoding and “outside-in” skills such as vocabulary, syntax, and general knowledge for children’s later reading achievement. Our paper builds on this previous research work in examining how well different skills measured at kindergarten entrance predict to the tested reading achievement of students at the end of kindergarten, first grade, and third grade. We use both simple ordinary least-squares regression models and multilevel regression models with data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study – Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K), fall 1998 – spring 2002, for these analyses. Specifically, we are examining how well direct child assessments at the start of kindergarten predict to the later achievement of U.S. elementary-school children in general and graduates of Head Start in particular.

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Inequality, Labor Force, Education, Gender, Race/Ethnicity, Religion, Policy