LAUNCH Data Team Studies Predictors for Education Success
In December 2017, LAUNCH Flagstaff investigated the relationship between a cohort of 107 students who:
- participated in KinderCamp®
- received a Kindergarten Development Assessment (KDA) upon entering kindergarten within the Flagstaff Unified School District (FUSD)
- received a 3rd grade English Language Arts (ELA) score on the AzMERIT state standardized test.
The primary goal of this study was to determine the factors or a combination of factors that are predictive of the AzMERIT ELA scores for 3rd grade achievement and help design interventions that can impact kindergarten readiness and later reading skills.
Initial analysis indicate a strong, positive correlation between greater reading readiness in kindergarten and higher AzMERIT ELA scores in 3rd grade. The data also show indications of moderate relationships between 3rd grade reading achievement and the factors of:
- a child’s preschool experience
- family socio-economic status
- parent education
The team is currently in the process of identifying two additional groups of students in the same cohort to study a broader group of students that represent the diversity in the general student population of Flagstaff, which may give increased confidence in the initial conclusions from the first sample of students.
The study is being conducted through a collaboration between the Flagstaff Unified School District and the Northern Arizona University College of Education. KinderCamp® is a program of United Way of Northern Arizona and is designed to give children the academic, social and emotional skills they will need before they begin Kindergarten in the fall. It serves as a way of filling in the gap between students with access to preschools and those without.