Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in School Psychology


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Klanderman, John


Project Head Start (U.S.); Head Start programs--United States; Mathematics--Study and teaching (Elementary)--United States; Reading (Elementary)--United States


Educational Psychology


This study examined the effect of the Head Start Preschool Program on fist graders' academic achievement in math and reading. A literature review reported the results of other studies and the effect of early educational experiences on at-risk students' elementary school achievement. In general, these studies found that early educational intervention increased cognitive gains in the primary grades, but these gains were not sustained in the upper grades. Also, students from low socio-economic areas demonstrated greater gains than middle class children, In the present study, the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills was administered to first grade students of low socio-economic class. Of these students, 34 had attended the Head Start Preschool Program. The 34 students who did nor participate in the program were randomly selected and matched for sex. In order to determine if there was a statistically significant difference in achievement after the Head Start experience, a t-test for independent samples was done on the two sets of scores for each subject area – reading and math. Results indicated that the Head Start group scored significantly higher in math than the other group. There were no differences in reading achievement between the two groups.