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Full-day kindergarten study

Region:
Northwest
Abstract:

Description: States and districts have been increasing the time students spend in kindergarten in the hope it will boost later outcomes. Oregon began funding full-day kindergarten in 2015/16. REL Northwest, in partnership with the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), is conducting a study to examine whether the transition from half- to full-day kindergarten has impacted student outcomes in math and reading, attendance, English proficiency, discipline, and grade retention. The study will also describe the instructional activities and teaching practices being used in full-day kindergarten classrooms across the state.

Oregon stakeholders can use the information to craft appropriate policies and programs and to understand differences in outcomes among students from different schools with different implementation practices and timelines. The resulting report may be of interest to other states seeking to provide guidance on full-day kindergarten programs.

Research questions:

  1. What instructional activities, teaching practices, and kindergarten transition supports are used by teachers and other school and district staff members in full-day kindergarten programs in Oregon?
    1. Do activities, teaching practices, and kindergarten transition supports in Oregon's full-day kindergarten programs vary by teacher, school, or district characteristics (e.g., teacher and student demographics)?
    2. How do instructional activities, teaching practices, and kindergarten transition supports in Oregon's full-day kindergarten programs compare with those in full-day kindergarten programs nationwide?
  2. Does attending full-day kindergarten impact Oregon student outcomes, such as grade 3 math and reading assessment scores, attendance, English proficiency, suspension/expulsion, and grade retention?
    1. Do impacts vary by student, school, or district characteristics (e.g., teacher and student demographics)?

Study design: To understand classroom practices (research question 1), researchers will analyze responses to a survey of Oregon teachers and principals that ODE administered in 2018, as well as documents provided by respondents.

To understand the influence of full-day kindergarten on student outcomes (research question 2), researchers will implement a quasi-experimental design that incorporates propensity score weighting and allows for estimation of impact. Researchers will analyze ODE administrative data at the student, school, and district level from 2013/14 to 2017/18. These data include the following information: student demographics, enrollment, performance on the Oregon kindergarten entry assessment, performance on grade 3 math and reading assessments, English language proficiency (for English learner students only), attendance, discipline, and grade retention, as well as a flag for whether the student attended full-day kindergarten.

Projected release date: Summer 2021

Partnership or research alliance: Oregon Early Learning Collaborative

Related products: Making an Impact report

Principal Investigators & Affiliation:
Ashley Pierson, REL Northwest at Education Northwest