Early Childhood

Redshirting Prevalent Among Wealthy, Unnecessary, Study Says

By Julie Blair — April 26, 2013 1 min read
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Thinking about redshirting your kindergartener?

There’s really no need to do so, new findings from the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education and the Stanford School of Education state.

“We examined whether the children who delay kindergarten are those who seem to be struggling or immature as evaluated by their preschool teachers, parents, or even district test scores,” said Daphna Bassok, assistant professor at UVA in Charlottesville who co-authored the study published April 16 in the journal of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 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.”

Children from wealthier families are often held back a year if their birthdays are near cutoff dates, lag physically, or seem socially or cognitively behind other children their age, the research states.

Boys are twice as likely as girls to be redshirted; white children are more likely held back than black.

The trend, however, is present only in certain demographic groups: Nearly one in four pupils from prosperous communities is redshirted; the practice is “extremely unlikely” in less wealthy communities.

“Delaying kindergarten means finding and paying for another year of child care,” Bassok said. “For most low-income families, redshirting is far too expensive.”

To read more from the journal, click here.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Early Years blog.