Implementation of universal prekindergarten in New York State: A comparative case study

William John Carr, Fordham University


This study examined how teachers, administrators, and parents, within different schools and community groups work to balance the varying demands for preschool education, using the policy context and resources of the New York State Universal Prekindergarten law of 1997. This research consisted of school districts in two large scale urban settings in New York State, that have on the surface, implemented the law differently. Qualitative case study methodology was utilized for conducting this research. Several interviews were conducted in each setting, along with research on policy implementation theory and early childhood education. In each of these schools 4 components were studied: what was the school districts' understanding of the law, what planning went into implementing the law, how was this law actually implemented in each school, and what are some of the effects of the implementation of this law? The findings of this study include, but are not limited to: (a) The law played a minor role in the implementation of this program, (b) one of the most significant facets of this law was the requirement of a 10% collaboration rate between the school districts and community-based organizations, with one district far exceeding that rate and the other struggling to meet it, (c) teacher certification may become a significant issue for the community-based organizations in the near future, with all teachers needing state certification. Considering the different organizations participating in providing this program, the differences in the participation rates of both cities, and the time to implement changes that would suit the needs of each site, I assumed that major, visible differences would exist. What I found is that each site is providing the program in essentially the same way.

Subject Area

Early childhood education

Recommended Citation

Carr, William John, "Implementation of universal prekindergarten in New York State: A comparative case study" (2006). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3210261.