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ERIC Number: ED451950
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Apr-23
Pages: 107
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Class of '79 Project: Longitudinal Implications of School Entry Variability in Readiness.
Elkin, Lorne
The Class of 1979 project is a longitudinal study of the consequences and implications of variability in school readiness at the age children enter school. The study followed the development of 129 children since 1979, the year in which they entered Kindergarten. Phase one and two of the research covered the years between 1979 and 1991. Phase three, yet to be initiated, will report on what has happened in their individual and collective lives since leaving high school. Based on the Metropolitan Readiness Test, children were grouped by four degrees of readiness: low (LR), average (AR), high (HR), and variable (VR). The study has since recorded the trajectory of each child's development through archival data, as recorded in school records, through ongoing examination of various indicators of change, and through periodic interviews with participants. A key finding is that on virtually every measure of academic performance, initial differences in readiness prevailed throughout the students' school years. Additional findings include the following: (1) students considered to be at-risk, in need of intervention and special services, were largely found in the LR group; (2) dropout rates were consistently higher for LR or at-risk students, more so for students placed in transitional programs rather than conventional academic programs, and higher for at-risk versus not-at-risk students; (3) students designated as LR, on average, were the youngest students at time of school entry in Fall of 1979; (4) LR students were most frequently male, more frequently from larger families, more frequently later born, and more frequently from families with lower occupational skills; (5) in school, LR students were more frequently enrolled in split classes in primary school, changed schools more frequently, and were more frequently referred for psychological assessment and for speech/hearing assessments; (6) in contrast, children in HR group were the oldest at time of school entry and more frequently had parents with higher occupational skills; and (7) HR students had changed schools less often, had taken the largest number of high school classes, failed the fewest classes, and had enrolled in the fewest modified classes. Findings suggest that the greater the variance in a child's school readiness from normative expectations, the greater the likelihood the child, parents, and especially the school system will respond in ways that reinforce the child's readiness status. The earlier such designation occurs, the greater the influence of the designation on the child's trajectory of performance. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada