Redshirts gain in reading, lose in math

Children who enter kindergarten a year late — –red shirts — are slightly ahead of classmates in reading and behind in math by the end of first grade, concludes a Mathematica study. Children who’ve repeated kindergarten are behind in both reading and math by the end of first grade.

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  1. Aloha Joanne,

    Do you have anything on the Ninth Circuits ruling to allow religious indoctrination in public schools?


  2. Ryan Grant says:

    At my school we don’t typically let the kids repeat kindergarten, the thought being that they’re better off in a full-day program where they have access to Title instead of a half-day program where the other half of the day is Spongebob at the daycare center.

    It’s worked well for us over the years.

  3. Repeating Kindergarten? I didn’t think it was even possible to fail that. Maybe this is sometimes a maturity issue that straightens out with another year of age, but I’d expect a good many kids who repeated Kindergarten to have problems that will continue to keep them in the bottom of the class.

    As for red-shirting, I suspect this often says a lot about the parents. What do you do when your kid whines about the math homework being hard and boring? Maybe the redshirting parents are too reluctant to hurt the little prince(ss)’s feelings by saying, “I know it’s hard, now go do it.”

  4. The study is about achievement at the end of the first grade. Why should we worry about it at all? My youngest son was born somewhat close to the admission deadline, and he had no preschool. He started kindergarten without knowing He did not know how to write his name when he was about to start kindergarten. The school would prefer him to come a year later. From the articles I have read, I understood that it should even out by the 3rd grade. So I sent him anyway. In the first few years, as they say in the proposition 82 ads, you can immediately tell the difference, especially since the school was filled with Challenger school alumni. Now he is in high school, and he is certainly not behind academically. So who cares how he did in kindergarten or the 1st grade. So academic should not be an issue in red-shirting.

    Of course in the Rube Goldberg education system of the US, red-shirting may affect your child’s education in some strange way, but that is another story.

  5. Twill00 says:

    No, no. Red Shirts are the guys in the old Star Trek series that get slurped up by this week’s blob.

  6. Twill00: I’m a Trekkie too, but “red shirt” in this context is a sports metaphor, from college sports programs. They’ll keep their most promising athletes in team practice but out of competition with other school teams for the first year, and then the kid can play for them in his 5th year of 4-year college. This makes their football players a little bigger and stronger, etc. There doesn’t seem to be much danger of their star athletes actually graduating in 4 years and thereby shorting their school team of a year’s play…


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