Not only has the Perry study set records for longevity, but it also asks the truly pertinent question: what is the impact of preschool, not on the test scores of 7-year-olds but on their life chances? The answer is positive -- a well-designed program really works.
An article from the Sunday New York Times Magazine that highlights the most recent findings from the Perry Preschool Project. The study examines the lives of 123 African Americans born in poverty and at high risk of failing in school in Ypsilanti, Michigan.The subjects were randomly divided into a program group who received a high-quality preschool program based on High/Scope's participatory learning approach and a comparison group who received no preschool program. In the study's most recent phase, 97% of the study participants still living were interviewed at age 40.
The Times article does a nice job of outlining the findings... mainly that adults at age 40 who had the preschool program had higher earnings, were more likely to hold a job, had committed fewer crimes, and were more likely to have graduated from high school than adults who did not have preschool. The Perry Preschool Project Fact Sheet gives a good overview of the main research questions answered by the ongoing study.