Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Start Kindergarten Later?

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Start Kindergarten Later?

Article excerpt

New research challenges a growing trend toward holding kids out of kindergarten until they are older, arguing that academic advantages are short-lived and come at the expense of delaying entry into the workforce and other costs. The findings show older kindergartners fare better academically largely because they learn more before starting school, not because age improves aptitude, says Darren Lubotsky, a University of Illinois economics professor who coauthored the study. Older students post higher test scores than younger peers during the first few months of kindergarten, but their edge soon fades and nearly vanishes by eighth grade, according to the study. "If it were true that older kids are able to learn at a faster rate, then the differences in test scores should get bigger as kids progress and the material gets more difficult," Lubotsky says. "But we really see the opposite."

The findings counter decades of research linking age to academic achievement that has led states to push back kindergarten entrance age deadlines and convinced more parents to start children later than the once-traditional age of 5. …

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