Almost half of California public school kindergarten students attend full-day classes. To understand how a longer class day might benefits students, the authors examined about 200,000 kindergarten records in the Los Angeles Unified School District and found that full-day kindergarten does seem to help reduce the chances of being retained in early grades. But full-day students do not seem to have better second-grade test scores, nor do English learners improve their English fluency at higher rates. Certain subpopulations might benefit more than others; given current budgetary constraints, policymakers may find it more effective to target full-day classes to schools most likely to benefit, such as those with low API rankings.
This report was supported with funding from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.