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IES Grant

Title: An Experimental Design Evaluation of Full-Day Kindergarten
Center: NCER Year: 2005
Principal Investigator: Plucker, Jonathan Awardee: Indiana University
Program: Field Initiated Evaluations of Education Innovations      [Program Details]
Award Period: 4 years (7/1/2005-6/30/2009) Award Amount: $802,421
Type: Efficacy and Replication Award Number: R305F050256

Purpose: At the time of this study, full-day kindergarten was used increasingly as a strategy to address achievement gaps and promote early learning and school readiness. In this project, the researchers compared the academic results of full-day kindergarten with those of half-day kindergarten. Through this comparison, the researchers expected the results to show whether providing full-day kindergarten in two high-poverty schools improved academic performance and attendance rates and reduced special education referrals and grade retention, all considered predictors of later school success.

Structured Abstract


Setting: The research will take place in four kindergarten classrooms in a rural Title I district in southern Indiana (Richard Bean Blossom Community Corporation school), and four kindergarten classrooms in an urban fringe of a midsize city Title I school in southern Indiana (Monroe County School Corporation school).

Sample: Three cohorts of kindergarten students and seven kindergarten teachers will participate.

Intervention: Full-day kindergarten students will attend school from 8:40 am to 3:15 pm. Full-day kindergarten is increasingly being used to address achievement gaps and promote early learning and school readiness as part of state education initiatives.

Research Design and Methods: The study is a randomized controlled trial with a lottery for three cohorts of kindergarten students. Each year, approximately 75 students across 2 schools will be randomly assigned to the full-day kindergarten program, and 75 students will be randomly assigned to half-day classes. Therefore, across the three kindergarten cohorts there will be 225 students in the treatment (full-day) group and 225 students in the control (half-day) group.

Control Condition: Half-day kindergarten students attend school either from 8:40 a.m.–11:35 a.m. or from 12:25 p.m.–3:15 p.m.

Key Measures: Treatment and control group students will be followed as they progress into the third grade to examine the long-term impact of full-day kindergarten on academic outcomes, attendance rates, special education referrals, and grade retention. Curriculum-based measurement (CBM) in reading and mathematics will be used three times per year to assess student academic outcomes over time. CBM is a set of standard fluency measures of reading, spelling, written expression, and mathematics computation. Other measures will include the Iowa Test of Basic Skills at the end of kindergarten and district tests as appropriate. Administrative data on student attendance, special education placement and referral rates, and grade retention rates will be collected on an annual basis. Data will also be collected on the ways in which time is used in the full-day and half-day programs, as well as the ways in which half-day kindergarten students spend their time when they are not in kindergarten.

Data Analytic Strategy: Both multivariate analyses of covariance and hierarchical linear modeling will be used to analyze the impact of full-day kindergarten on children's outcomes. Growth curve modeling will be used to analyze the longitudinal data. Descriptive analyses will show how daily activities and instructional time differ in full-day and half-day kindergarten.


ERIC Citations: Find available citations in ERIC for this award here.