According to the National
Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), Oklahoma is the
nation's leader in providing access to pre-K to four-year-olds. It is
one of a handful of states that makes pre-K available, on a voluntary
basis, to all four-year-olds, irrespective of income. Approximately
eighty percent of all Oklahoma four-year-olds now participate in the
state-funded pre-K program or Head Start.
In 2001 Georgetown University
researchers decided to focus on Oklahoma's pre-K program because no
one was evaluating it and because it had several characteristics of a
high-quality program. For example, all lead teachers in state-funded
pre-K classrooms must have a B.A. degree and must be early childhood
certified. Also, they are paid a regular public school wage.
researchers have now analyzed Tulsa test data from August 2001, August
2004, and August 2006.