Starting kindergarten
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Starting Kindergarten. What is the best age?. The factor most often used to determine entrance to kindergarten was age. (Saluja, 2000). June 1 July 1 Aug. 15, 31 Sept. 1, 2, 10, 15, 30 Oct. 1, 15, 16 Dec. 1, 31 Jan. 1 District decision in five states. State Entrance Comparisons.

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Starting Kindergarten

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Starting Kindergarten

  • What is the best age?


The factor most often used to determine entrance to kindergarten was age.

(Saluja, 2000)

June 1

July 1

Aug. 15, 31

Sept. 1, 2, 10, 15, 30

Oct. 1, 15, 16

Dec. 1, 31

Jan. 1

District decision in five states

State Entrance Comparisons


What if my child will be among the youngest in his class?

  • Delay?

  • Enter on time?


Entrance Age Dilemma

  • Is it better for the child to enter on time or to delay entry in order to become one of the oldest in the class?


Academic Redshirting

  • Holding back to get ahead


Who is Held Out?

  • Males

  • Caucasians

  • Middle + SES

  • Born second half of the year


9% of all 1st and 2nd graders had been held out of kindergarten

3rd quarter = 11%

4th quarter = 13%

(NCES)


RacialDivide

  • White, non-Hispanic twice as likely as Black, non-Hispanic to have been held back


Redshirts

  • 360,000 yearly


Difficulties Interpreting Research

  • Mixed results

  • Youngest and oldest groups vary

  • Subjective vs. objective measures

  • Differences in school expectations

  • Controls for intelligence


Social-emotional differences

Achievement differences

ResearchStudies


Social-Emotional

  • Do the youngest children in a group exhibit poor social skills?

  • Do they have problems adjusting?


So…

  • If the children who delay entrance are from economically advantaged families…

  • If those advantaged children have higher achievement… then…

  • Differences in achievement may be just differences due to economic advantage.

  • (DiPrima, 1991)


Social Skills

  • Study Description: Sociometric interviews at kindergarten and 1st grade, teacher ratings, report cards, and self-reports

  • Findings: No differences in self-reported school adjustment, loneliness, perceptions of competence, or social acceptance related to school entry age.”

  • (Spitzer, 1995)


Social Skills

  • Study Description: Parents and teachers rated second graders’ social skills. Those ratings were compared to kindergarten entrance age.

  • Findings: Kindergarten entrance age was not a predictor of later social skills.

  • (Springer, 1997)


(Spitzer, cont.)

  • Findings:

  • Peer ratings of social acceptance not related to age in K or 1st grade

  • No report card differences in social development (but teachers said older children had better social skills).

  • Report cards did not reflect differences in physical skills, language, or math.


(Spitzer, cont.)

  • “Being among the youngest in the class was not related to either rejected or neglected social status.”

  • “…younger children were not at a social disadvantage.” (supports earlier research)


Social Skills

  • Study Description: Used report card checklist of conduct

  • Findings: No conduct differences between youngest and oldest groups

  • (DiPrima, 1991)


Social Skills

  • Study Description: Looked at scores on the standardized Behavioral Problem Index. Parent reports (Nationally representative sample)

  • Findings: 12% of held back children scored above 90th percentile (compared to 7% of children who entered on time). Rates increased with age. (Caucasians only)

  • (Byrd, 1997)


Social Skills

  • Study Description: Parent reports about 1st and 2nd graders (from national survey 1993 and 1995)

  • Findings: For 1993 survey, parents reported that held out children had fewer negative comments from teachers than did children who had entered on time.

  • (Zill, 1997)


Social Skills

  • Study Description: Looked for correlation between age and referrals for psychological services.

  • Findings: No differences related to age

  • (DeMeis, 1997)


Con:

  • “Children whose family income, background or circumstances put them most at risk for school failure remain at risk when they enter kindergarten a year older than their peers.”

  • (Ginsberg, 1999)


Academic Achievement

  • Does redshirting provide academic advantage?


Academics

  • Study Description: Used grades and standardized test results on large urban sample (longitudinal study)

  • Findings: Older entrants did slightly better in 1st grade due to math scores.

  • Four years later differences had disappeared

  • (DiPrima, 1991)


Academics

  • Study Description: Matched held back and on-time entrants for I.Q. and gender. Compared scores on standardized achievement tests at 4th and 5th grades.

  • Findings: Composite test scores were higher for held back children. Held back boys scored higher in reading.

  • (Crosser, 1991)


Achievement

  • “Age at entrance was a far less powerful predictor than the socioeconomic variables in our covariate set.”

  • (DiPrima, 1991)


Academics

  • Study Description: National, longitudinal K-5 study

  • One-on-one assessments, teacher questionnaire, parent interview

  • Findings: Children who were a year older outperformed younger children born Sept.-Dec.

  • (America’s Kindergarteners, 2000)


America’s Kindergarteners, cont.

  • Parents and teachers reported more task persistence in older children.

  • Reading, Math, and General Knowledge scores decreased with age at entry.


America’s Kindergarteners, cont.

  • Data collected fall, 1998

  • Baseline data

  • Does not reflect school achievement so must not be misinterpreted.


Academics

  • At the end of the kindergarten year, both groups had made a year’s growth.

  • Children were learning at about the same rate but they were learning different things.

  • (The Kindergarten Year, 2000)


Academics

  • Study Description: Looked at age and related referrals for special programs

  • Findings: No differences between young vs. old groups in academic difficulties

  • (DeMeis, 1992)


Academics

  • Study Description: Looked at achievement scores at the end of kindergarten

  • Findings: No differences by age if entered preschool at age 3. But, if children entered preschool at ages 4 or 5, the older ones scored higher.

  • (Gullo and Burton, 1992)


Academics

  • Study Description: Iowa Test of Basic Skills to measure achievement for redshirts and on-time entry (controlled for I.Q.)

  • Findings: “Redshirts, however, did not appear to gain any advantage in achievement as a result of delaying school entry.”

  • (Cameron, 1990)


Academics

  • Study Description: Review of entrance age literature

  • Findings: School age does not affect academic achievement

  • Both younger and older groups made a year’s progress

  • (Narahara, 1998)


Academics

  • Description: Reading and math standardized achievement test comparisons old K, young 1st, older 1st

  • Findings: At end of 1st grade children made the same progress

  • (Morrison, 1997)


Morrison, cont.

  • Differences were starting age differences.

  • Entrance age was not a good predictor of academic achievement.


Academics

  • Study Description: Achievement test scores and teacher ratings of Head Start graduates

  • Findings: Intelligence, not entry age, predicted achievement and ratings

  • (Grenninger, 1997)


Achievement

  • Study Description: Compared delayed entry and retained children at grades 2, 5, 7

  • Findings: “With intelligence controlled for, delayed entry does not lead to achievement advantages.” It is an “ineffective intervention” to homogenize the classroom.

  • (Kundert, 1995)


Achievement

  • Study Description: Parent reports about 1st and 2nd grade children who delayed or repeated kindergarten. (1993, 1995 National Survey)

  • Findings: (1993) Delayed entry received less negative teacher feedback. (1995) Delayed entry were less likely to have been later retained.

  • Delayed entry performed as well as those who started when eligible. Delaying does not appear to help or harm later school performance.

  • (Zill, 1997)


Achievement

  • Study Description: Report cards (Kindg.)

  • Findings: Language and math skills were not a function of age.

  • (Spitzer, 1995)


Academics

  • Study Description: Compared referrals to special programs by age.

  • Findings: Younger children qualified for gifted programs at the same rate as older children.

  • (DeMeis, 1992)


Implications

  • Curricular

  • Personal

  • Social Policy


360,000

Held Out Each Year


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