"Predicting Third Grade Math and English Language Arts Proficiency with the Early Development Instrument"
AERA 2018 Annual Meeting: “The Dreams, Possibilities, and Necessity of Public Education”
April 13-17, 2018
Title: Predicting Third Grade Math and English Language Arts Proficiency with the Early Development Instrument
Author: Robert Duncan (Postdoctoral Researcher)
School readiness skills predict later educational achievement, health, and social outcomes. Population level indicators of school readiness reflect back on strategies and policies that prepare children for school and inform approaches to improve children’s educational trajectories as they progress through the school years. The Early Development Instrument (EDI), a teacher-reported measure based on observational recall, has been extensively used in Canada and Australia and is now being more widely used in the United States. The current study uses data from roughly 3,000 children followed longitudinally from kindergarten through third grade from 7 school districts in the large and diverse area of Orange County, California. The study assesses whether EDI ratings in kindergarten predict third grade proficiency in Mathematics and English Language Arts. Consistent with findings from Canada and Australia, ratings on the EDI were strongly associated with proficiency in both academic areas, controlling for child-level factors and neighborhood fixed effects. In particular, ratings on the language and cognitive development, communication skills and general knowledge, and social competence domains strongly differentiated children’s likelihood of later proficiency in both academic areas. Implications for improving comprehensive early childhood education and schooling policies are discussed.