All Projects

How effective is San Antonio’s full-day preschool program?

Evaluating San Antonio's Pre-K 4 SA program

Research shows that attending preschool can shrink by one-half the achievement gap between low- and high-income students. San Antonio is one of a handful of U.S. cities investing in preschool programming for underserved children. Its Pre-K 4 SA program began providing full-day preschool for 4-year-olds in 2013; by the 2016-2017 school year, more than 2,000 children were enrolled.

The City of San Antonio requested Westat’s assistance in evaluating the program’s effectiveness.

During 2016-2017, we gathered data on the program by

  • Collecting information on nearly 500 randomly selected children’s executive function skills
  • Observing 100 classrooms and teachers, using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) that looks at the quality of teacher-child interactions in the classroom
  • Reviewing administrative data on attending children, including attendance and Teaching Strategies GOLD outcome data

Future evaluations will continue to focus on teachers’ reports of the children’s progress and our observations of the children in the classroom, including their interactions with their teachers.

In the beginning of the school year, Pre-K 4 SA children were below the norm in cognitive, literacy, language, physical, and social-emotional skills compared to a nationally representative sample of children.

By the end of the year:

  • Students surpassed the norm in cognitive, literacy, and mathematics skills
  • The program eliminated the initial gap in the remaining 3 outcomes: language, physical, and social-emotional

Instructional support improved the most within the 3 CLASS quality domains since the program began: emotional support, classroom organization, and instructional.

Want to work with us?
You’ll be in great company.

About Us Careers

Westat Employees.
Westat Employee.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
The National Institutes of Health
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
The Johns Hopkins University
University of Maryland Baltimore Campus
University of Denver
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
U.S. Department of Transportation
U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Education
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Toyota
The Verizon Foundation
Texas Education Agency
Baltimore Metropolitan Council
Teach for America
Social Security Administration
SiriusXM
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
NYC Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity
National Science Foundation
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Maryland Cancer Registry
Internal Revenue Service
Georgia Department of Transportation
DC Public Schools
ClearWay Minnesota
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
University of Michigan
Explore Our Clients

Please wait...

Forbes 2020 The Best Employers for Diversity Powered by Statista Copyright 2019 Forbes Media LLC. Used with permissionForbes 2019: The Best Employers for Women Powered by Statista Copyright 2019 Forbes Media LLC. Used with permission

Westat is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, genetic information, gender identity or expression, or any other protected status under applicable law. Notices to Employees & Applicants.