Term of Award

Spring 1998

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Administration

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)


Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Garth Petrie

Committee Member 1

Patricia Lindauer

Committee Member 2

Randal Carlson

Committee Member 3

Jennie F. Rakestraw


This study examined the impact of Georgia's lottery-funded PreK on its participants' preparedness for kindergarten. The following question was posited: Have Georgia's lottery-funded PreK participants in rural Georgia entered kindergarten with differences in preparedness from entering kindergartners who did not participate? Participation in alternate types of prekindergarten included participation in Head Start, participation in the category of other programs (private, church, or day-care), or no participation in any type of program. Data was collected in twelve school systems in five Regional Educational Service Agencies (RESA) districts in rural southern Georgia. Two criteria were established for participation in this study: (1) entering kindergartners participated in kindergarten screening; and (2) the Developmental Indicators for the Assessment of Learning-Revised (DIAL-R) was used as one of the screening instruments. Kindergarten retainees were excluded. Information describing race, gender, type of prekindergarten program, and total DIAL-R score for each student was requested Data sheets were returned by 83 of the 94 kindergarten teachers for an overall return rate of 88%.

An examination of the mean scores on the DIAL-R yielded the following results. Students participating in the category of other prekindergarten programs had the highest mean scores on the DIAL-R; students participating in Georgia's lottery-funded PreK yielded the second highest mean scores; students participating in Head Start produced the second lowest scores; and students who did not participate in any form of prekindergarten yielded the lowest mean scores.

Analyses of the data were conducted through a one-way ANOVA and post hoc procedures. It was established that statistically significant differences did exist among the four prekindergarten groups with respect to the varying prekindergarten experiences. Participants in Georgia's lottery-funded PreK program did have significantly higher scores than students who did not participate in any form of prekindergarten. Ancillary findings revealed that there were statistically significant differences found between students who participated in the category of other forms of prekindergarten and those students who did not participate in any form of prekindergarten. Also, females were more prepared than males. Thus, participation in Georgia's lottery-funded PreK program and participation in the category of other prekindergarten (private, church, day-care) yielded DIAL-R total scores that were significantly higher than those of students who did not participate in any type of prekindergarten. Because the Dial-R scores were higher, these students can be considered to be better prepared for kindergarten.


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