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Study Says Full-day Kindergarten Produces More Learning Gains

A new national study provides some of the strongest evidence to date to support what many educators and parents of young children already believe: Children learn more in full-day kindergarten programs than they do in half-day programs.
A new national study provides some of the strongest evidence to date to support what many educators and parents of young children already believe: Children learn more in full-day kindergarten programs than they do in half-day programs.

The findings, scheduled to be published in the February issue of the American Journal of Education, are based on federal data from a nationally representative sample of 8,000 children in public kindergarten programs. The results show that, on average, the learning gains that pupils make in full-day programs translate to about a month of additional schooling over the course of a school year.

Nationwide, only nine states require school districts to provide full-day kindergarten, according to Kristie A. Kauerz, who formerly tracked early childhood education initiatives as a policy analyst for the Denver-based Education Commission of the United States. Another seven states, including New Hampshire, do not require districts to offer any kindergarten at all.

Ms. Kauerz said the new study might attract policymakers' attention because it is among the first to draw on a national sample of students. Previous studies, according to the researchers, often focused on small numbers of schools or districts, or relied on weaker research designs.

This article, written by Debra Viadero, appeared in the October 19th 2005 publication of Education Week.

Published Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2005

Study Says Full-day Kindergarten Produces More Learning Gains

A new national study provides some of the strongest evidence to date to support what many educators and parents of young children already believe: Children learn more in full-day kindergarten programs than they do in half-day programs.

The findings, scheduled to be published in the February issue of the American Journal of Education, are based on federal data from a nationally representative sample of 8,000 children in public kindergarten programs. The results show that, on average, the learning gains that pupils make in full-day programs translate to about a month of additional schooling over the course of a school year.

Nationwide, only nine states require school districts to provide full-day kindergarten, according to Kristie A. Kauerz, who formerly tracked early childhood education initiatives as a policy analyst for the Denver-based Education Commission of the United States. Another seven states, including New Hampshire, do not require districts to offer any kindergarten at all.

Ms. Kauerz said the new study might attract policymakers' attention because it is among the first to draw on a national sample of students. Previous studies, according to the researchers, often focused on small numbers of schools or districts, or relied on weaker research designs.

This article, written by Debra Viadero, appeared in the October 19th 2005 publication of Education Week.

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