The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the study was launched at the request of state lawmakers two years ago. At the time, there were dire predictions about the long-term viability of the lottery-funded pre-k and HOPE scholarship programs.
University of North Carolina researchers followed a random sample of pre-k students during the 2011-2012 school year. They used pre- and post-tests to measure how much the 4-year-olds learned and classroom observations and teacher surveys to assess classroom quality.
Kristin Bernhard, education policy adviser to Gov. Nathan Deal, said that by almost every measure - including language and mathematics - the researchers found that students who went through Georgia pre-k fared better than their national peers.