WWC review of this study

The Chicago School Readiness Project: Examining the Long-Term Impacts of an Early Childhood Intervention

Watts, Tyler W., Gandhi, Jill, Ibrahim, Deanna A., Masucci, Michael D., Raver, C. Cybele (2018). Grantee Submission. PLOS One. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED589148

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    461
     Students
    , grade
    PK

Reviewed: January 2023

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards with reservations
Cognition outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Hearts and Flowers task - Mixed Trials Accuracy

Chicago School Readiness Project (CSRP) vs. Business as usual

11 Years

Full sample;
460 students

0.67

0.65

No

--
Intrapersonal Competencies outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Risks and Strengths Scale - Internalizing behaviors

Chicago School Readiness Project (CSRP) vs. Business as usual

11 Years

Full sample;
461 students

0.30

0.27

No

--
More Outcomes

Emotional Go, No Go trials: Sad D-Prime subscale

Chicago School Readiness Project (CSRP) vs. Business as usual

11 Years

Full sample;
447 students

1.35

1.41

No

--

Emotional Go, No Go trials: Angry D-Prime subscale

Chicago School Readiness Project (CSRP) vs. Business as usual

11 Years

Full sample;
447 students

1.47

1.55

No

--
Student Behavior outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Risks and Strengths Scale - Externalizing behaviors

Chicago School Readiness Project (CSRP) vs. Business as usual

11 Years

Full sample;
461 students

0.53

0.52

No

--


Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 53%
    Male: 47%

  • Urban
    • B
    • A
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    Illinois
  • Race
    Black
    66%
    Other or unknown
    34%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    27%

Setting

The study took place in 18 preschool Head Start centers in Chicago neighborhoods struggling with high crime and poverty.

Study sample

A total of 461 preschool students were included in the study. Approximately 53% of the students were female and 57% were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. Sixty-six percent were Black and 34% did not specify race. Twenty-seven percent were Hispanic or Latino. The study measured outcomes for students 10 to 11 years following the end of the preschool intervention. Eighteen Head Start centers were randomly assigned, with 9 centers assigned to the intervention group and 9 centers assigned to the comparison group.

Intervention Group

The Chicago School Readiness Project (CSRP) is a program that aimed to improve the classroom quality of preschool Head Start centers in Chicago through a combination of teacher training on a behavioral management program and counseling support for teachers and students. The CSRP was provided to whole classes within a Head Start center. The intervention lasted 30 weeks. Teachers received professional development sessions during the school year, each lasting about 6 hours. Sessions focused on providing teachers with strategies to reduce children's negative behavioral problems and support self-regulation skills. CSRP also provided Mental Health Consultants (MHCs), who were master's level social workers. During the first third of the intervention, MHC's provided coaching and support to teachers in implementing the behavioral management program in the classroom. During the second third of the intervention, MHC's held a stress reduction workshop for teachers and met individually with teachers to discuss job-related stressors. During the final third of the intervention, MHC's worked directly with about 3 to 4 children per class who needed additional support for behavioral and emotional problems.

Comparison Group

Head Start centers in the comparison group continued with business-as-usual instruction but received part-time teaching aides to account for the lower student-to-teacher ratio in intervention group sites introduced by the presence of MHCs in classrooms. Comparison teachers may have participated in other business-as-usual training and professional development offered by their centers.

Support for implementation

Each intervention group teacher spent an average of 18 hours in professional development training over fall and winter of the intervention year. In addition, teachers received coaching on implementing the intervention from the MHCs.

 

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