Participation in full-day kindergarten might not help reduce learning gaps between different groups of children, according to a report from the Santa Monica, Calif.-based rand Corp.
While the study found little difference in 5th grade reading achievement between children who had attended full-day or half-day kindergarten, the researchers actually found a negative association between full-day kindergarten and mathematics performance when students reached 5th grade.
The study, which used a nationally representative sample of almost 7,900 students from the U.S. Department of Education’s Early Childhood Longitudinal Study—Kindergarten, also found that 5th graders who had participated in full-day kindergarten programs showed lower levels of “nonacademic readiness skills,” such as self-control and interpersonal skills.
The researchers warned that the findings should be interpreted carefully, but also encouraged policymakers to consider spending money on efforts to promote nonacademic skills.
For More info
“School Readiness, Full-Day Kindergarten, and Student Achievement: An Empirical Investigation” is available from the RAND Corp.
A version of this article appeared in the January 24, 2007 edition of Education Week