Assistant Professor Jade Jenkins will be presenting at the Educational Policy and Social Context lab on March 6: "Forced to Redshirt: Quasi-Experimental Impacts of Delayed Kindergarten Entry." The EPSC Lab is a collection of researchers and students from multiple disciplines whose interests intersect in the field of K-16 education policy. The EPSC Lab serves as a forum for individuals to share research ideas, works-in-progress, and future conference presentations.
EPSC Lab Presentation
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
12:00 - 1:00 pm
A new concern in parents’ child rearing decisions is whether to enroll their child in kindergarten “on time”, when they are first age-eligible, or to delay their kindergarten entry, known as “redshirting”. The literature on delayed entry and relative age at kindergarten entry show mixed results, at least in part because of the selection bias related to school entry decisions. Our paper addresses this gap by providing the first causal estimates of the effects of redshirting on achievement outcomes by exploiting an exogenous policy change in the birthdate enrollment cutoff for public schools in North Carolina (NC). NC moved the birthdate cutoff from Oct 15th to September 1st for children entering school in the 2009-2010 school year. This change required children born in these six weeks of the year to delay kindergarten entry, which essentially forced parents to redshirt their children. We compare the outcomes of these “forced” redshirted children with the outcomes of their peers (from leading and trailing cohorts) using census-level administrative data with exact birthdates to identify the impact of redshirting on achievement outcomes and on students’ curricular determinations of giftedness or having a disability in third through fifth grades. We find that delayed kindergarten entry provides small benefits to students’ math and reading achievement, and makes children slightly less likely to be identified with a disability. We also find heterogeneous benefits for students who are low-income and non-white.