Analysis of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study: Kindergarten Class of 2010-2011

Prepared for
Sesame Workshop

Mathematica analyzed baseline data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010-11 to identify the knowledge and skills that children have when they first enter school. Findings support the Sesame Workshop’s goal of helping children reach their full potential through the development of research-based materials for children and those who care for them and attending to their educational needs. Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street.

Mathematica profiled children’s knowledge and skills across multiple domains, including academic and social skills and approaches to learning. Analyses also described differences in children’s knowledge and skills across a set of child, family, and school factors and examined four risk factors known to affect children's development and school achievement:

  1. Single parent households
  2. Mothers with less than a high school education
  3. Households with incomes below the federal poverty line
  4. Non-English speaking households.

High-risk children (those with all four risk factors) were found to be almost a year behind their peers with no risk factors in their reading and math abilities. The researchers also created composite readiness scores based on teacher ratings of children's academic and social skills. Based on the researchers' calculation, less than one-third of children were rated by teachers as "in-progress" or better on both reading and math skills.