Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. David Cowden

Second Advisor

Dr. P. Jenlink

Third Advisor

Dr. D. Lohrmann


This study evaluated the long-term effects of developmental kindergarten on reading achievement, grade retention, and special education services. Data were collected for 84 subjects from 12 participating elementary schools in Troy, Michigan. Forty-two subjects in the experimental group were matched with 42 subjects from the control group. Pairs were matched according to age within 6 months, gender, and to ta l score on the Developmental Indicators for the Assessment of Learning-Revised (DIAL-R, Mardel1-Czudnowski & Goldenberg, 1983) screening test.

Multivariate analysis of covariance, used to analyze the effects of developmental kindergarten participation on reading achievement over time, indicated no significant results between the groups. Analysis of covariance, used to measure achievement within grade levels, showed a significant difference in favor of the experimental group at the kindergarten level. Further analysis within Grades 1, 3, and 4 indicated that there was not a significant difference in reading achievement between groups.

Special education services and grade retention were analyzed using the chi-square test. Results indicate no significant difference between groups for special education services and grade retention. The data suggest that the developmental kindergarten program had no long-term reading advantage to the subjects who participated in the program. This study analyzed only the academic portion of the program and did not consider the social/emotional variables.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access