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object(Timber\Post)#3742 (44) { ["ImageClass"]=> string(12) "Timber\Image" ["PostClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Post" ["TermClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Term" ["object_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["custom"]=> array(5) { ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(14) "OP_508JCOP.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(5) "93124" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(14261) "Occasional Papers Changing the Kindergarten Cutoff Date: Effects on California Students and Schools Jill S. Cannon Stephen Lipscomb May 2008 Supported with funding from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decisionmakers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California's future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a private, nonprofit organization. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and Chief Executive Officer of PPIC. Thomas C. Sutton is Chair of the Board of Directors. Copyright © 2008 by Public Po licy Institute of California All rights reserved San Francisco, CA Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the so urce and the above copyright notice is included. Research publications reflect the views of the author s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff, officers, or Board of Directors of the Public Policy Institute of California. When is the best time for children to enter kindergarten? In California, children who reach their fifth birthday by the cutoff date of December 2 are allowed to enter in that school year. California’s is one of the latest kindergarten entry cutoff dates in the nation, and it effectively allows California children as young as four years, nine months to enter kindergarten. The issue has been the subject of debate for many years. Several legislative proposals to move the state’s cutoff date back—thus increasing th e average age of entering kindergarteners—have been proposed, but have failed to make it into law. Most recently, the Governor’s Committee on Education Excellence recommended a change in cu toff date to September 1 from December 2. Using current enrollment figures, such a c hange would delay about 100,000 children from entering kindergarten for a year. Proponents of moving the date earlier argue that children who enter kindergarten before age five are not developmentally mature enough yet for an academic setting, and that entering at an older age should improve academic perfor mance. Many states over the years have moved their cutoff dates, partially on the basis of this argument (see chart). For proponents, the central issue is one of school readiness—students shou ld begin formal schooling only when they have accumulated the skills necessary to meet the academic rigors ahead of them. In practice, readiness is difficult to measure and for school purposes is determined by a child’s age in relation to a specified cutoff date . Current kindergarten cutoff dates are not based on any evidence that one calendar date is better than others. Our review of 14 recent studies on the short- and long-term effects of entering kindergarten at an older age suggests that incr easing California’s entry age will likely have a number of benefits, including boosting student ac hievement test scores. But it may also have the potential to increase the achievement gap among ce rtain student subgroups. In this paper, we summarize and synthesize the findings of these 14 studies to provide a baseline of knowledge for further debate in the legislative and educ ational communities. A more detailed examination of these studies’ designs, methodologies, and conclusions is available at Policymakers will want to pay close attention to the pre-kindergarten opportunities for disadvantaged children. Because an earlier entranc e cutoff will almost certainly save the state money in the short term, one possibility is to use some or all of the savings for school readiness programs or other early interventions. Trends in U.S. State Kindergarten Entry Cutoff Dates, 1965-2006 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 Number of States June 1 - Sept. 2 Sept. 3 - Feb. 1 SOURCES: 1965-2005 data collected by Kelly Bedard (University of California, Santa Barbara) and Elizabeth Dhuey (University of Toronto); 2006 da ta from the Education Commission of the States, available at www.ecs.org , and personal communications with staf f in state departments of education. NOTE: Several states do not have a uniform cutoff date for all school districts. Some state laws give local education agencies (LEAs) discretion over specifying the cutoff. Other states do not have kindergarten entrance age legislation. The Governor’s Committee also notes the possibility that an older entry age policy would reduce the occurrence of purposefully delayed school entry by parents of younger children, a practice known as “redshirting.” If true, this would result in a more even distribution of students by age and so help to reduce achievement gaps. While we agree that redshirting may decline, we do not know by ho w much. It also remains to be seen whether students who would become the youngest students because of a date change—students with July and August birthdates—will enter on time or will themselves delay entry at higher rates than occurs now. In relation to the achievement gap, what ultimately matters is whether any reductions in redshirting would mitigate the additional differences between groups in pre- kindergarten learning opportunities. Other Benefits and Issues Several of the studies point out that a kindergarten entry date change might affect student outcomes in dimensions other than academic achievement. These include grade retention, special education enrollment, high sc hool completion rates, and in the very long- term, students’ wages as adults. Our reading of the evidence is that a kindergarten date change would not affect these other outcomes adversely: t hat is, there would be little if any increase in grade retention or special education enrollment, or decrease in high school completion rates. On this latter point, it is important to note that a consequence of an earlier kindergarten entry cutoff date is that it makes some students eligible to drop out of school legally with less completed education. The state’s compulsory schooling law requires students to stay enrolled in school until they reach age 18 (or graduate from high school); an earlier kindergarten cutoff date would mean more students starting their education at older ages, and they would have less time in school before their 18 th birthdays. Thus, an earlier cutoff date may mean lower high school completion rates. The important question, however, is how large these adverse consequences might be. The research suggests t hat they are likely to be very small or even nonexistent. Moreover, California’s current focu s on dropout prevention may further mitigate this potential problem. Another long-term effect of moving the entry cutoff relates to wages a kindergarten student might later earn as an adult in the labo r market. A study still in progress, and the only one examining direct evidence of the effects of state policy changes, shows that when states moved their entry cutoffs earlier in the year, the st udents who began school in that year went on to earn slightly higher average wage s as adults in the labor market. Individual Effects and Issues From a policy perspective, the focus of the entry age debate is on educational outcomes statewide. Locally, an additional concern is the effects of a date change on individual students. Even if the statewide effect of moving stud ents’ entry dates were neutral, cutoff dates themselves may affect individual students in important ways. An unavoidable consequence of moving the entry cutoff is changing which students will be the oldest and the youngest within each kindergarten class. Children whose kinder garten entry is delayed by a policy change not only begin school one year older but also become older relative to their classmates. Further, even children not directly affected by an entry da te change are indirectly affected because they are made relatively younger than their classmates. Several studies explore whether relatively older students outperform their younger peers. This research finds consistently that stud ents who are expected to be the oldest in their class score higher on achievement tests, up thro ugh high school, than do students expected to be the youngest. Relatively older students also achieve in other important, non-academic ways such as being more likely to become the captain of their varsity sports team or a club president in high school. Relatively older students are also less likely to be retained a grade and less likely to be diagnosed with a learning disability. In fa ct, the research suggests that students forced to delay school entry by a year will become less likel y to be retained or to be diagnosed with a learning disability, while students made relati vely younger will become more likely. Thus, a 4 September 1 cutoff should not meaningfully affect retention or special education enrollment, on average. Other findings suggest that relatively older students may be slightly less likely to complete high school, the issue noted above. Ho wever, assuming they do graduate, there is some evidence that they are more likely to enroll in college. Studies examining age effects in some European countries where compulsory schooling laws require school attendance for a minimum number of years, rather than up to a specific age, find that relatively older students attain more schooling, are more likely to be pl aced on an advanced academic track, and are more likely to enroll in college. In sum, student relative age is an important predictor of educational success. Changing student relative age is also unavoidable when enacting an entrance cutoff change. For this reason we conclude that policymakers should base their decision to adopt a September 1 cutoff on the likely statewide effects, while keeping in mind that individually, relatively older students generally outperform their younger peers regardless of the cutoff date cho sen. Conclusions Our reading of the evidence in the 14 studies we reviewed suggests that moving the entrance cutoff date from December 2 to Septem ber 1 would likely boost average scores on the California Standards Tests, and presumably, on the National Assessment of Educational Progress as well. This is princi pally because some students would be a year older when taking those tests. Increasing the minimum entry age by moving the cutoff date is not likely to affect overall grade retention or special education enro llment rates, and may even boost adult wages. The potential costs of this policy change include allo wing some students to drop out of school at an earlier grade legally, but we conclude that this should not cause a large reduction in graduation rates. Overall, we feel the potent ial effects on disadvantaged children merit special attention in association with a policy change. At the student level, it is important to keep in mind that an entrance policy change would have a differential effect on students, and almost certainly between socio-economically disadvantaged and advantaged students. We argu e that the effect of an entrance policy change on the achievement gap depends on the extent to which it reduces academic redshirting and the extent to which it results in further disparities in skill acquisition prior to kindergarten entry. English learners are another important subgroup that could be affected, but at present no study has explicitly focused on this population. Finally, the research indicates that student relative age is an important predictor of educational succe ss: Any entrance age policy change will benefit those made relatively oldest at the expense of th ose made relatively youngest. To the extent that an older minimum entry age reduces academic redshirting among socio-economically advantaged students, an earlier cutoff date sh ould help mitigate relative age disparities. The available evidence suggests academic meri ts to adopting the September 1 cutoff. If the earlier cutoff is adopted, policymakers should follow how entering students are affected, paying special attention to disadvantaged students and English learners. These students may need additional pre-kindergarten and kindergarten investments to reduce the achievement gap. PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA Board of Directors Thomas C. Sutton, Chair Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pacific Life Insurance Company Mark Baldassare President and Chief Executive Officer Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and Chief Executive Officer San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Edward K. Hamilton Chairman Hamilton, Rabinovitz & Associates, Inc. Gary K. Hart Former State Senator and Secretary of Education State of California Walter B. Hewlett Director Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Leon E. Panetta Director The Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy Ki Suh Park Design and Managing Partner Gruen Associates Constance L. Rice Co-Director The Advancement Project Raymond L. Watson Vice Chairman of the Board Emeritus The Irvine Company Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 PPIC SACRAMENTO CENTER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121 www.ppic.org" } ["___content":protected]=> string(106) "

OP 508JCOP

" ["_permalink":protected]=> string(125) "https://www.ppic.org/publication/changing-the-kindergarten-cutoff-date-effects-on-california-students-and-schools/op_508jcop/" ["_next":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_prev":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_css_class":protected]=> NULL ["id"]=> int(8658) ["ID"]=> int(8658) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:39:35" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(3926) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["post_title"]=> string(10) "OP 508JCOP" ["post_type"]=> string(10) "attachment" ["slug"]=> string(10) "op_508jcop" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(14) "OP_508JCOP.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(5) "93124" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(14261) "Occasional Papers Changing the Kindergarten Cutoff Date: Effects on California Students and Schools Jill S. Cannon Stephen Lipscomb May 2008 Supported with funding from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decisionmakers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California's future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a private, nonprofit organization. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and Chief Executive Officer of PPIC. Thomas C. Sutton is Chair of the Board of Directors. Copyright © 2008 by Public Po licy Institute of California All rights reserved San Francisco, CA Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the so urce and the above copyright notice is included. Research publications reflect the views of the author s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff, officers, or Board of Directors of the Public Policy Institute of California. When is the best time for children to enter kindergarten? In California, children who reach their fifth birthday by the cutoff date of December 2 are allowed to enter in that school year. California’s is one of the latest kindergarten entry cutoff dates in the nation, and it effectively allows California children as young as four years, nine months to enter kindergarten. The issue has been the subject of debate for many years. Several legislative proposals to move the state’s cutoff date back—thus increasing th e average age of entering kindergarteners—have been proposed, but have failed to make it into law. Most recently, the Governor’s Committee on Education Excellence recommended a change in cu toff date to September 1 from December 2. Using current enrollment figures, such a c hange would delay about 100,000 children from entering kindergarten for a year. Proponents of moving the date earlier argue that children who enter kindergarten before age five are not developmentally mature enough yet for an academic setting, and that entering at an older age should improve academic perfor mance. Many states over the years have moved their cutoff dates, partially on the basis of this argument (see chart). For proponents, the central issue is one of school readiness—students shou ld begin formal schooling only when they have accumulated the skills necessary to meet the academic rigors ahead of them. In practice, readiness is difficult to measure and for school purposes is determined by a child’s age in relation to a specified cutoff date . Current kindergarten cutoff dates are not based on any evidence that one calendar date is better than others. Our review of 14 recent studies on the short- and long-term effects of entering kindergarten at an older age suggests that incr easing California’s entry age will likely have a number of benefits, including boosting student ac hievement test scores. But it may also have the potential to increase the achievement gap among ce rtain student subgroups. In this paper, we summarize and synthesize the findings of these 14 studies to provide a baseline of knowledge for further debate in the legislative and educ ational communities. A more detailed examination of these studies’ designs, methodologies, and conclusions is available at Policymakers will want to pay close attention to the pre-kindergarten opportunities for disadvantaged children. Because an earlier entranc e cutoff will almost certainly save the state money in the short term, one possibility is to use some or all of the savings for school readiness programs or other early interventions. Trends in U.S. State Kindergarten Entry Cutoff Dates, 1965-2006 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 Number of States June 1 - Sept. 2 Sept. 3 - Feb. 1 SOURCES: 1965-2005 data collected by Kelly Bedard (University of California, Santa Barbara) and Elizabeth Dhuey (University of Toronto); 2006 da ta from the Education Commission of the States, available at www.ecs.org , and personal communications with staf f in state departments of education. NOTE: Several states do not have a uniform cutoff date for all school districts. Some state laws give local education agencies (LEAs) discretion over specifying the cutoff. Other states do not have kindergarten entrance age legislation. The Governor’s Committee also notes the possibility that an older entry age policy would reduce the occurrence of purposefully delayed school entry by parents of younger children, a practice known as “redshirting.” If true, this would result in a more even distribution of students by age and so help to reduce achievement gaps. While we agree that redshirting may decline, we do not know by ho w much. It also remains to be seen whether students who would become the youngest students because of a date change—students with July and August birthdates—will enter on time or will themselves delay entry at higher rates than occurs now. In relation to the achievement gap, what ultimately matters is whether any reductions in redshirting would mitigate the additional differences between groups in pre- kindergarten learning opportunities. Other Benefits and Issues Several of the studies point out that a kindergarten entry date change might affect student outcomes in dimensions other than academic achievement. These include grade retention, special education enrollment, high sc hool completion rates, and in the very long- term, students’ wages as adults. Our reading of the evidence is that a kindergarten date change would not affect these other outcomes adversely: t hat is, there would be little if any increase in grade retention or special education enrollment, or decrease in high school completion rates. On this latter point, it is important to note that a consequence of an earlier kindergarten entry cutoff date is that it makes some students eligible to drop out of school legally with less completed education. The state’s compulsory schooling law requires students to stay enrolled in school until they reach age 18 (or graduate from high school); an earlier kindergarten cutoff date would mean more students starting their education at older ages, and they would have less time in school before their 18 th birthdays. Thus, an earlier cutoff date may mean lower high school completion rates. The important question, however, is how large these adverse consequences might be. The research suggests t hat they are likely to be very small or even nonexistent. Moreover, California’s current focu s on dropout prevention may further mitigate this potential problem. Another long-term effect of moving the entry cutoff relates to wages a kindergarten student might later earn as an adult in the labo r market. A study still in progress, and the only one examining direct evidence of the effects of state policy changes, shows that when states moved their entry cutoffs earlier in the year, the st udents who began school in that year went on to earn slightly higher average wage s as adults in the labor market. Individual Effects and Issues From a policy perspective, the focus of the entry age debate is on educational outcomes statewide. Locally, an additional concern is the effects of a date change on individual students. Even if the statewide effect of moving stud ents’ entry dates were neutral, cutoff dates themselves may affect individual students in important ways. An unavoidable consequence of moving the entry cutoff is changing which students will be the oldest and the youngest within each kindergarten class. Children whose kinder garten entry is delayed by a policy change not only begin school one year older but also become older relative to their classmates. Further, even children not directly affected by an entry da te change are indirectly affected because they are made relatively younger than their classmates. Several studies explore whether relatively older students outperform their younger peers. This research finds consistently that stud ents who are expected to be the oldest in their class score higher on achievement tests, up thro ugh high school, than do students expected to be the youngest. Relatively older students also achieve in other important, non-academic ways such as being more likely to become the captain of their varsity sports team or a club president in high school. Relatively older students are also less likely to be retained a grade and less likely to be diagnosed with a learning disability. In fa ct, the research suggests that students forced to delay school entry by a year will become less likel y to be retained or to be diagnosed with a learning disability, while students made relati vely younger will become more likely. Thus, a 4 September 1 cutoff should not meaningfully affect retention or special education enrollment, on average. Other findings suggest that relatively older students may be slightly less likely to complete high school, the issue noted above. Ho wever, assuming they do graduate, there is some evidence that they are more likely to enroll in college. Studies examining age effects in some European countries where compulsory schooling laws require school attendance for a minimum number of years, rather than up to a specific age, find that relatively older students attain more schooling, are more likely to be pl aced on an advanced academic track, and are more likely to enroll in college. In sum, student relative age is an important predictor of educational success. Changing student relative age is also unavoidable when enacting an entrance cutoff change. For this reason we conclude that policymakers should base their decision to adopt a September 1 cutoff on the likely statewide effects, while keeping in mind that individually, relatively older students generally outperform their younger peers regardless of the cutoff date cho sen. Conclusions Our reading of the evidence in the 14 studies we reviewed suggests that moving the entrance cutoff date from December 2 to Septem ber 1 would likely boost average scores on the California Standards Tests, and presumably, on the National Assessment of Educational Progress as well. This is princi pally because some students would be a year older when taking those tests. Increasing the minimum entry age by moving the cutoff date is not likely to affect overall grade retention or special education enro llment rates, and may even boost adult wages. The potential costs of this policy change include allo wing some students to drop out of school at an earlier grade legally, but we conclude that this should not cause a large reduction in graduation rates. Overall, we feel the potent ial effects on disadvantaged children merit special attention in association with a policy change. At the student level, it is important to keep in mind that an entrance policy change would have a differential effect on students, and almost certainly between socio-economically disadvantaged and advantaged students. We argu e that the effect of an entrance policy change on the achievement gap depends on the extent to which it reduces academic redshirting and the extent to which it results in further disparities in skill acquisition prior to kindergarten entry. English learners are another important subgroup that could be affected, but at present no study has explicitly focused on this population. Finally, the research indicates that student relative age is an important predictor of educational succe ss: Any entrance age policy change will benefit those made relatively oldest at the expense of th ose made relatively youngest. To the extent that an older minimum entry age reduces academic redshirting among socio-economically advantaged students, an earlier cutoff date sh ould help mitigate relative age disparities. The available evidence suggests academic meri ts to adopting the September 1 cutoff. If the earlier cutoff is adopted, policymakers should follow how entering students are affected, paying special attention to disadvantaged students and English learners. These students may need additional pre-kindergarten and kindergarten investments to reduce the achievement gap. PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA Board of Directors Thomas C. Sutton, Chair Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pacific Life Insurance Company Mark Baldassare President and Chief Executive Officer Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and Chief Executive Officer San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Edward K. Hamilton Chairman Hamilton, Rabinovitz & Associates, Inc. Gary K. Hart Former State Senator and Secretary of Education State of California Walter B. Hewlett Director Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Leon E. Panetta Director The Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy Ki Suh Park Design and Managing Partner Gruen Associates Constance L. Rice Co-Director The Advancement Project Raymond L. Watson Vice Chairman of the Board Emeritus The Irvine Company Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 PPIC SACRAMENTO CENTER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121 www.ppic.org" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:39:35" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(10) "op_508jcop" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:39:35" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:39:35" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["guid"]=> string(52) "http://148.62.4.17/wp-content/uploads/OP_508JCOP.pdf" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_mime_type"]=> string(15) "application/pdf" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["attachment_authors"]=> bool(false) }