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The Promise, The Present and the Future of Pre-Kindergarten: Implementation Issues, Capacity Building and Sustainability

Gourley, Suellen Lawrence (2006) The Promise, The Present and the Future of Pre-Kindergarten: Implementation Issues, Capacity Building and Sustainability. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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THE PROMISE, THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE OF PRE-KINDERGARTEN: IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES, CAPACITY BUILDING AND SUSTAINABILITYSuellen Lawrence Gourley, Ed.D. University of Pittsburgh, 2006 Charles J. Gorman, AdvisorSchool districts in Pennsylvania were able to receive grant money to implement pre-kindergarten through the Accountability Block grant program from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. This study focused on five schools that implemented pre-kindergarten during the 2004-2005 school year, studying the struggles during the first two years of the programs and how the schools used strategies to build capacity to sustain the pre-kindergartens. Grant money disappears eventually and with strong competition for educational dollars, ways to build capacity to sustain effective programs like pre-kindergarten are necessary. Site visits were used to gather the grant documents, observe the pre-kindergartens for a full session and conduct interviews with the principal, teacher and parent at each school. These three sources of data provided evidence of implementation issues, capacity building strategies, and how these strategies are connected to the sustainability of the pre-kindergarten. The findings indicate that the pre-kindergartens that are most likely to be sustained are those implemented by schools that use three capacity building strategies of knowledge and skills, collaborative culture and allocation of resources. The schools have and continue to seek knowledge and skills about early childhood education; consciously, purposefully and collectively create a collaborative climate; and allocate appropriate and adequate financial and human resources are promoting the sustainability of the pre-kindergarten. Transportation is a key resource for sustainability. Full-day vs. half-day programs, universal vs. targeted, quality of the program and the curriculum were not issues in the sustainability of the pre-kindergartens in this study. Pre-kindergarten in the public school needs financial commitment from school boards and the state. Adding this program to the basic education subsidy for each school would enable all Pennsylvania four-year-olds to have access to pre-kindergarten. The Accountability Block grant could also help promote sustainability by building a framework within the grant for school districts to absorb the costs of the program over time and not risk eliminating the program when the funding is gone.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Gourley, Suellen
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairGorman, Charles
Date: 25 April 2006
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 24 March 2006
Approval Date: 25 April 2006
Submission Date: 17 April 2006
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Accountability Block Grant; Collaborative Culture; Knowledge and skills; Pre-kindergarten; Resource Allocation
Other ID:, etd-04172006-164600
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:37
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:40


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