||Ensure that all students are on track to graduate from high school on-time and ready for college and careers.
||Students will enter elementary school ready to succeed in school and in life.
|How progress is measured:
||The percent of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool programs: 2005–07 and 2007–09
|Why is this measure important?
||Ensuring that all students, especially high-need students, are on track for success in school and beyond requires increasing access to high-quality early learning programs. This is particularly important for high-need students who have less access to quality early learning programs and often enter kindergarten behind their age-peers. Children who attend high-quality early learning programs, receive comprehensive services, and have opportunities to learn across all domains of school readiness are likely to do measurably better in school than their peers who do not. This is particularly important for high-need students who have less access to quality early learning programs and often enter kindergarten behind their age-peers.
|What do the data tell us at the national level?
||The enrollment rate of 3- and 4-year-olds in the United States was higher in 2007–09 (48 percent) than it was in 2005–07 (46 percent).
|What are the limitations of the indicator?
||While the Dashboard provides data on enrollment in preschool programs, there is no source of comparable state-by-state data on the quality of programs or the extent to which kindergartners enter school ready to succeed. As such, data on preschool enrollment are being used as incomplete proxies for the objective, based on the assumption that access to an early learning program is an important element of increasing school readiness. Since the measure reflects averages over a 3-year time period, short-term changes may not be apparent. Additionally, information is not provided on the extent to which high-need children are participating in preschool programs.
|Documentation for the indicator:
||Data on participation in preschool programs were obtained through a sample survey of households in each of the states. Data are from the Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) of the American Community Survey (ACS), produced by the U.S. Census Bureau. The percentages reflect the participation of young children in early learning programs at the time the survey was administered and are subject to sampling error. A small number of children enrolled in kindergarten are included. Estimates are 3-year averages. Use of a 3-year average increases the sample size, thereby reducing the size of sampling errors and producing more stable estimates. For additional information on PUMS and the ACS, visit http://www.census.gov/acs/www/.