San Mateo, CA (PRWEB) April 23, 2014
A study looking at the first-year implementation of transitional kindergarten in California finds that most school districts provided the new grade level, and that approaches varied widely. The results, which are shared in a new report by the American Institutes for Research (AIR), found that transitional kindergarten appears to provide a different experience than traditional kindergarten, one more appropriate for young learners.
California established the program under the Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010, which changed the kindergarten entry age so that children must turn 5 by September instead of December to enroll. The new grade level was put into place to promote school readiness for California’s youngest learners who, prior to the law, would have enrolled in kindergarten at age 4. Before the act, California was one of only a few states to allow four-year-olds to enroll in kindergarten.
The study collected data from focus groups, interviews, surveys and classroom observations. Other notable findings from the analysis include:
The report also includes recommendations for the development of transitional kindergarten. For example, the authors emphasize the importance of providing more training for teachers and expanding outreach to parents.
This report is a second in a series highlighting findings from the study, which is supported by the Heising-Simons Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. The first paper offered an initial look of the number of districts who enrolled transitional kindergarten students, and how they approached implementation. The next phase of the study, now underway, is examining the impact of the program on students’ preparedness for kindergarten.
To read the full report, visit http://www.air.org.
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education, and workforce productivity. For more information, visit http://www.air.org.