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How to Make the Most Out of Early Childhood Education: Lessons from Michigan's Transitional Kindergarten Program


Sep 01, 2021


Sep 01, 2024
Funding Agency
Smith Richardson Foundation, Inc.

In partnership with the Michigan Department of Education, Dr. Christina Weiland and Dr. Brian Jacob plan to inform the policy debate over the design of early childhood education programs with the evidence on Michigan’s Transitional Kindergarten (TK) program.


The study would take advantage of a natural experiment to estimate the causal impacts of TK; children born between September 2 and December 1 each year are eligible to enroll if they reside in a school district that offers the program, offering a perfect opportunity to use regression discontinuity to estimate child-level impacts into elementary school. The team also plans to estimate impacts for important student subgroups; to examine impact variation across districts; and to identify district-level predictors of this variation. Finally, the team will conduct rigorous descriptive work, including surveys of programs and selected teachers to identify key elements of the program and variation across the state.

The team also includes Jordy Berne, Jasmina Camo, Tareena Musaddiq, and Samuel Owusu at the University of Michigan and Anna Shapiro at the University of Virginia.

Primary Investigator(s)

Associate Professor, Marsal Family School of Education
Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Education Policy, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy; Professor, Economics, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; By Courtesy Professor, Marsal Family School of Education

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Award Start Date
Sep 15, 2018
Award End Date
Aug 31, 2024
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Award End Date
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