Students Who Start Kindergarten Sooner Are Less likely to Fail a Grade

matt-lauer-visits-kindergartenSixty-seven percent of 4th graders in the U.S. read below the national reading proficiency standard. Some educators feel that the problem starts much earlier, with kindergartners entering school without basic social and learning skills.

Matt Lauer of the Today show visits a school in Boston that’s trying to find a solution early. The Eliot school enrolls kindergartners at the age of four, rather than five. This younger class is called Kindergarten One, or K1, other schools call similar programs “pre-K.” Unlike a nursery school or daycare center, the kindergarten one teachers at the Eliot school must have their master’s degree in education.

The school is sensitive to the maturity of their younger K1 students, and has created a curriculum that’s not only instructive but also fun. The school’s principal encourages parents to enroll students even if they don’t seem emotionally ready, because those are the students who will benefit the most in a year when it’s time to start kindergarten. Studies have shown that students who attend pre-kindergarten programs are 35 percent less likely to be held back in kindergarten, pass the literacy rate at 24 percent higher rate and are 30 percent less likely to repeat a grade later.

This story is part of NBC’s Education Nation. Watch Matt Lauer go back to kindergarten:

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4 Responses to “Students Who Start Kindergarten Sooner Are Less likely to Fail a Grade”

  1. bridgetokindergarten says:

    The difference in the quality of the program comes down to the educational qualifications of the teachers and their center director/center specialist. If the center specialist doesn’t have an Early Childhood Education BS degree or a Child Development BS degree then she probably won’t be as “in-tune” to the importance of structuring her center’s program around the developmental growth stages of the students. Some centers have a center specialist who has a degree in “Human Services” or another “related” degree. How can this person possibly know the important issues about children’s development the way a Master’s degree level educator has who is specialized in Early Childhood Education? Federally funded Head Start does not have qualified staff, but these state-funded preschools do have qualified staff in place. The state funded elementary school based prekindergarten classrooms are managed by the school principal who may very well have a Masters (or beyond) in an educational specialty. The center specialist at a Head Start school may just have a BS in “Human Services” or in a social work related field.

  2. Nancyb says:

    My child significantly benefitted from her pre-kindergarten experience, I am convinced.


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