The purpose of this study was to examine the average treatment effect of preschool special education services on children's kindergarten academic skills. Using data from a nationally representative sample of United States children who participated in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort, we examined the effectiveness of preschool special education services by comparing reading and math outcomes for children who received special education services at preschool-age to a propensity-score-weighted sample of children who did not receive these services. Results indicated that the receipt of these special education services had a statistically significant moderate negative effect on children's kindergarten skills in both reading (d= - 0.21) and mathematics (d= - 0.29). These findings have implications for the implementation and evaluation of services for young children experiencing developmental delays or disabilities.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported in part by a grant from the American Educational Research Association and a fellowship from the National Center for Research in Early Childhood Education.
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- Early intervention
- Propensity score weighting
- Special education