Abt Associates: Bold thinkers driving real-world impact
What is the value added by a year of preschool education? Abt Associates helped to address this question by working with the Harvard Graduate School of Education to evaluate the efficacy of two early childhood education curricula implemented in the Boston Public Schools: Opening the World of Learning (OWL) and Building Blocks for Math and Science.
The research, funded by a research grant from the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education, used a regression discontinuity design to test children in the treatment and control groups for achievement in math and literacy, self-regulation and executive function, and social skills during the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year. Previous research on the added value of a year of preschool education had not been conclusive. This study, using a more rigorous evaluation approach, provided stronger evidence to help policymakers and educators make decisions about the role of preschool education in children’s instruction.
Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research, evaluation and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Known for its rigorous approach to solving complex challenges, Abt Associates is regularly ranked as one of the top 20 global research firms and one of the top 40 international development innovators. The company has multiple offices in the U.S. and program offices in more than 40 countries.