ERIC Number: ED352130
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Oct-1
Reference Count: N/A
Extra-Year School Readiness Programs: Equity, Learning and Social Concomitants.
Extra-year school readiness programs, which serve as "developmental kindergartens" or "junior first grades," are well-intentioned transition programs between kindergarten and first grade that are intended to serve children judged to be at risk for early school failure. Despite their good intentions, these programs are counterproductive to an equable public education and serve neither the overwhelming majority of at-risk students nor the constituents of schooling within a democracy. Extra-year placement rates of 5 percent or more implicitly seek to segregate and track students at-risk for learning delays within the framework of nonresponsive, regular education, rather than address the characteristics of the developmental inappropriateness of kindergarten and first-grade programming. Cognitive developmental issues arise from segregated readiness environments which propagate differential cognitive growth between students who are placed in such programs and those who are promoted. Controlled studies indicate that students placed in extra-year readiness programs achieved similar levels of academic and social performance in school in subsequent grades as students who were equally unready but who were promoted ahead. Promoting at-risk students, while providing integrative programming within reorganized early education frameworks, has been shown to be more effective than passive retentions or transitional placements. However, the practice of promoting at-risk students requires a commitment to meeting the needs of all children within the framework of each classroom. A 165-item bibliography is provided. (AC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Uinta County School District No. 1, Evanston, WY.