Bruce Fuller, Edward Bein, Margaret Bridges, Yoonjeon Kim, Sophia Rabe-Hesketh, Do academic preschools yield stronger benefits? Cognitive emphasis, dosage, and early learning, Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, Volume 52, September–October 2017, p. 1-11, ISSN 0193-3973, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appdev.2017.05.001.
This study found that preschools that focus on academics provide substantial gains to black students from low-income families, as well as benefits to students from middle-class families. The study defined an academic-oriented preschool as one where teachers "focus time on classroom activities that foster oral language, preliteracy, and math skills." The researchers followed a nationally representative sample of 6,150 children born in 2001 from birth to age 5 and found that the benefits of attending a preschool that focused on academics carried on through kindergarten. Students who began attending preschool between the ages of 2 and 3 received more benefits than children who starting attending at age 4. It also found that the amount of time spent in preschool each week mattered. Black children received substantial benefits from attending a full-day program, while white students received the same benefits from a half-day.