By Ready. Set. Grow!
Unfortunately, there still seems to be a lot of confusion – among parents and educators alike – about transitional kindergarten. The Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010, passed by state legislators, establishes transitional kindergarten for children who won’t be 5 years old when the school year starts. (You can read more about the law in a First 5 LA Monday Morning Report article here or in the new Ready. Set. Grow! Ready to Learn Family Guide here.)
This week, the Los Angeles Times highlights disagreements about the benefits and drawbacks of transitional kindergarten, noting how even research conflicts:
“Research has shown benefits and drawbacks to holding back children. A 2006 study published in the Economics of Education Review looked at the age at which children started kindergarten and their test scores in reading and math during the first two years of school. The study found that children who entered kindergarten later had significantly better scores in those two subjects, and the advantage increased slightly by the time they were done with first grade.
“But another study documented some of the difficulties encountered by children who are older than their classmates. The 1997 report, published in the journal Pediatrics, focused on more than 9,000 students ages 7 to 17. Researchers discovered that those who entered school later were more likely to have behavioral problems.”
Our own Double Duty Mama struggled with this decision like the parents in the Los Angeles Time article. You can read about the process her family went through and their ultimate decision about whether or not to “redshirt” her son in her blog entries Transitional Kindergarten and Tough Choices and Transitional Kindergarten II: Sometimes, You’ve Just Gotta Trust Your Gut.