California’s unusual transitional-kindergarten program is showing promising results when it comes to how prepared young children are to enter kindergarten itself.
The state began offering transitional kindergarten in the 2012-13 school year, after it changed the cutoff date for children to turn 5 in order to begin kindergarten from Dec. 2 to Sept. 1. Evaluators from the American Institutes of Research looked at the program’s effectiveness in preparing youngsters for kindergarten and improving learning outcomes.
The study found that pupils who attended the program were six months ahead in literacy skills and nearly three months ahead in problem-solving compared with their peers who didn’t take part. The program showed benefits for all pupils but particularly strong effects on the English skills of those learning the language and on the math skills of low-income children.
A version of this article appeared in the July 19, 2017 edition of Education Week as Early Childhood