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Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Analysis of Transitional Kindergarten Programs

The 2022 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to conduct an analysis of transitional kindergarten programs offered by school districts in Washington State and to evaluate student participation in transitional kindergarten programs. The study must, to the extent feasible given available data, include the following information:

  • The number of school districts providing transitional kindergarten programs, including the number of classrooms and students in the program per district;
  • The number of children participating in transitional kindergarten programs across the state, disaggregated by demographic information such as race, gender, and income level;
  • The number of children participating in transitional kindergarten programs that attended prekindergarten previous to transitional kindergarten;
  • The number of children participating in transitional kindergarten who received early learning services through the early childhood education and assistance program;
  • The number of children participating in transitional kindergarten with an Individualized Education Program;
  • How children are selected and prioritized for enrollment in transitional kindergarten;
  • The differences in teacher preparation, certification, and classroom instruction for transitional kindergarten compared to the early childhood education and assistance program; and
  • The identification of why school districts offer transitional kindergarten, ECEAP, and other early learning programs, such as traditional or developmental pre-kindergarten; and what funding sources are used.

Additionally, the study must compare the use of transitional kindergarten in Washington State to use in other states, and review any outcome evaluation data available from other states.

A final report is due to the governor, the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families, and the Legislature by December 31, 2023.
Rebecca Goodvin, (360) 664-9077 View Legislation

COVID-19’s Impact on Student Learning

WSIPP receives ongoing funds from the legislature to support K-12 education research that is relevant to Washington State and informs policymakers’ decisions. Nationwide, there is interest in understanding how pandemic-induced school closures have impacted students’ learning and how to best support students going forward. With this in mind, WSIPP will conduct a study including the following:

  • Examine how the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced students’ achievement in mathematics and English language arts (ELA) in Washington State,
  • Estimate how changes in math and ELA standardized test scores impact students’ future outcomes including earnings, and
  • Identify interventions that can support students’ academic achievement in the post-pandemic period.

To the extent that data allows, we will consider how impacts on learning vary by student, school, and district characteristics.

WSIPP will publish a report by August 1, 2023.

Julia Cramer, (360) 664-9073

LAP Inventory: Effective Practices to Assist Struggling Students

The 2013 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to prepare an inventory of evidence- and research-based practices, strategies, and activities for school districts to use in the Learning Assistance Program (LAP).

The state program provides supplemental academic support to eligible K-12 students achieving below grade level or not on track to meet local or state graduation requirements. LAP funds may support programs in reading, writing, mathematics, and readiness, as well as programs to reduce disruptive behavior.

An initial report was released in July 2014. Updates were published in July 2015, July 2016, June 2018, and July 2020. The inventory will be updated every two years thereafter.

WSIPP was scheduled to update the inventory in 2022. Instead of an updated, WSIPP assessed the use of the inventory. In the absence of the regular update, WSIPP published a historical review of the LAP inventory, describing potential changes resulting from 2021 legislation, and offering a discussion of options regarding the future of the inventory.

Julia Cramer, (360) 664-9073 View Legislation Presentation to House Education Committee, January 15, 2013 Presentation to Senate Ways & Means, January 20, 2014