Does early childhood education help to improve high school outcomes? Results from Tulsa

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Child development




Early childhood education contributes to improved school readiness but impacts on high school remain unclear. This study estimates the effects of Tulsa, Oklahoma's universal pre-K and Head Start programs through the junior year of high school (in 2018/2019; N = 2902; M = 16.52, SD = .39; 48% female; 28% white, 34% Black, 27% Hispanic, 8% Native American). Propensity score weighted regressions suggest students who attended pre-K, but not Head Start, missed less school, were less likely to fail courses and be retained in grade, were more likely to take an Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate course, but did not have higher test scores or grades. Subgroup analyses by race/ethnicity demonstrated some differences in the pattern of associations favoring students of color.