Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed. D.


Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development

Degree Program

Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, EDD

Committee Chair

Immekus, Jason

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Ingle, William Kyle

Committee Member

Ingle, William Kyle

Committee Member

Marshall, Tiffany

Committee Member

Powers, Deborah

Author's Keywords

kindergarten entry; early elementary mathematics; prior level of achievement


From 2013-2019, all Kentucky school districts have administered a common screener to each student entering kindergarten. In this study, kindergarten readiness—determined by academic skills/cognitive development, language development, and physical development—was a significant predictor of grade 1 end-of-year mathematics achievement. The model predictions show that kindergarten students who met the readiness benchmark had higher grade 1 end-of-year mathematics scores compared to students who entered kindergarten below the readiness benchmark. The model predictions improved substantially with the inclusion of prior level of achievement as indicated by grade 1 beginning of the year mathematics achievement. However, students with stronger readiness skills demonstrated significantly higher grade 1 mathematics scores compared to students with lower readiness skills, irrespective of whether prior level of achievement was controlled. These findings suggest that the achievement of students before and during the kindergarten year are significant predictors of subsequent grade 1 mathematics achievement even after controlling for students’ demographic characteristics, prior setting for early care and learning, and neighborhood socioeconomic status. Implications for policy, practice, and research are discussed.