ERIC Number: ED334056
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Kindergarten Retention. Burning Issues [Series].
San Diego County Office of Education, CA.; National Preschool Coordination Project, San Diego, CA.
This information packet contains nine articles that outline current trends in kindergarten retention/exclusion and their negative impact on student outcomes, particularly for high risk students. The 1980s saw increasing numbers of children required to repeat kindergarten, attend a transitional grade before first grade, or wait an extra year before starting school. Disproportionate numbers of these children have not attended preschool or are male, young compared to classmates, or members of minority groups. Advocates believe that kindergarten retention prevents school failure caused by immaturity and, thus, is different from retention in later grades. However, research findings reveal that kindergarten retention has the same negative effects as later retention: low self-esteem, poor attitudes toward school, and increased risk of becoming a high school dropout. In addition, controlled studies that followed retained children as far as the fifth grade found that they performed no better academically than "unready" children whose parents had insisted on promotion. The increasing academic demands of kindergarten and first grade are inconsistent with the normal development of 5- and 6-year-olds. Ironically, retention and exclusion, intended to protect children from inappropriate expectations, actually contribute to the escalation of demands, thereby placing more children at risk. As the average age and experience of kindergarten students rise, teachers find it difficult to teach to the normal 5-year-olds in the class. Administrators respond by advancing the cutoff date for school entrance. A more developmentally appropriate curriculum is needed in the early grades. (SV)
Descriptors: Grade Repetition, High Risk Students, Kindergarten, Kindergarten Children, Migrant Children, Minority Group Children, Potential Dropouts, Primary Education, Reading Readiness, School Entrance Age, School Readiness, School Readiness Tests, Student Development, Student Promotion, Teacher Expectations of Students, Transitional Programs, Young Children
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: California State Dept. of Education, Sacramento. Office of Migrant Education.
Authoring Institution: San Diego County Office of Education, CA.; National Preschool Coordination Project, San Diego, CA.