Flunking Kindergarten: Escalating Curriculum Leaves Many Behind

Publisher: American Educator, 12
Page Numbers: 34-38

For the past four years, the authors have conducted research on the issues surrounding kindergarten retention: What are current practices? What problems are encountered by children who are youngest in their grade? How accurate are the tests used for screening? What are the effects of extra-year programs? What are the differences in school cultures that account for low incidence of retention in one school and high incidence in the next? This article summarizes three of their major findings: (1) Kindergarten retention does nothing to boost subsequent academic achievement; (2) Regardless of what it is called, the extra year creates a social stigma; and (3) Most ironically, the practice of kindergarten retention actually fosters the problem it was intended to solve--it feeds the escalation of inappropriate academic demand in first grade.