The practice of “academic redshirting"—delaying kindergarten entry to give a child more time to mature—may be less prevalent than is commonly believed, according to a study published last month in the journal Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis.
Nationwide, the study published last month found, between 4 percent and 5.5 percent of children are kept back from kindergarten each year, and the practice is more common in certain demographic groups. Nearly one in four pupils from prosperous communities is redshirted, while such occurrences are “extremely unlikely” in less wealthy communities, the study says.
The researchers also looked at whether the children whose entry to kindergarten was delayed lagged behind their peers academically or socially as judged by their preschool teachers, parents, or district test scores, study co-author Daphna Bassok of the University of Virginia said in a press release.
“We were surprised that at age 4, kids who end up delaying kindergarten looked just as ‘ready’ for school as their peers,” she said.
A version of this article appeared in the May 08, 2013 edition of Education Week as Early Childhood