A growing body of research suggests that any serious effort to eliminate the achievement gap in U.S. schools must address the school-readiness gap upon school entry (Sadowski, 2006). As a result, preschool programs remain the focus of public policy interests as a possible solution to address achievement shortfalls (Cannon & Karoly, 2007). The question of whether a child is “ready” for school is a dynamic one and depends on complex interaction between early experiences and child, family, and community characteristics. The purpose of this study was to examine the circumstances and conditions of school readiness and what it looks like in practice through the lens of the Head Start preschool director. Based on the results of program observation, interview, focus group, and child-outcome assessment data, a case for an ecological approach to school readiness was made. Furthermore, the results identified strengths, weaknesses, and challenges experienced by one Head Start preschool director striving to create a high- quality program for the purpose of getting young learners ready for school. Based on the findings, recommendations are made to make California’s early learning system more coherent and effective.
|Commitee:||Donahue, David, Kroll, Linda, Perez, Linda|
|Department:||Education - Educational Leadership|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Education Policy, Education, Early childhood education|
|Keywords:||Achievement gap, Early childhood, Education public policy, Head Start, Preschool director, School readiness|
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