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Old 02-04-2013, 05:35 PM   #85
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 671

Originally Posted by NoCalParent View Post
Coming from a state with a late kindergarten eligibility date (12/2), I found this study done at the University of Illinois interesting. "Kindergarten Entrance Age and Children’s Achievement: Impacts of State Policies, Family, Background, and Peers" provides summary findings from two longitudinal studies over 15 years. It says,

"First, our baseline models indicate that being a year older at the beginning of kindergarten leads to a 0.53 standard deviation increase in reading test scores and a 0.83 standard deviation increase in math scores during the fall of kindergarten, a point in time so early in the academic year that very little learning has taken place in school. The entrance age effects tend to diminish as children progress through school but are sizable even in eighth grade. Second, we present compelling evidence that entrance age effects are larger among children from high socioeconomic status families than among poorer children. This pattern is consistent with a relatively high rate of accumulation of
human capital among high-income children in the years prior to kindergarten, and suggests that policies intended to raise average entrance ages will exacerbate socioeconomic differences in achievement in early grades. "
Thank you very much for posting this study. Some other snippets:

Our evidence is consistent with the notion that older children excel because they have accumulated more human capital prior to entering kindergarten than have younger children. The effects of entrance age are particularly pronounced for children of high-income parents, reflecting the greater level of investments that relatively wealthy parents tend to make in their children prior to kindergarten. We do not find support for the alternative hypotheses that the entrance age premium reflects differences in physical maturity or in the capacity to learn once in school.

If the benefits of delayed enrollment result from human capital accumulation prior to kindergarten, policy debates regarding kindergarten entrance age must also ask what children will be doing if not in school. Our estimates imply that moving a state cutoff from December to September will raise average entrance ages and average achievement in early grades, but such a change will also exacerbate socioeconomic differences in achievement because the test scores of high-income children will tend to increase more than that of low-income children. If the goal of policy is to raise the achievement of the children most susceptible to falling behind, a policy focused solely on entrance ages is likely to fail since at-risk children receive the least investment prior to entering school.

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