When to go to kindergarten: who are the slower ones?

A kindergarten class in 1955

Did you want a head-start or a chance to regroup before heading off to kindergarten? That topic is an interesting one that is getting even more complicated with our country’s continued dependence on standardized testing – initially the older the better the scores, so states live it. But there are much larger ramifications, unsurprisingly.

On Friday, Slate writer Emily Blazelon posted a story on the issue:

The calculus goes like this: You look at your 4-year-old, especially if he’s a boy, and consider that his summer or fall birthday (depending on the state and its birthday cutoff) means that he’ll be younger than most of the other kids in his kindergarten class. So you decide to send him a year later. Now he’s at the older end of his class. And you presume that the added maturity will give him an edge from grade to grade. The school may well support your decision. If it’s a private school, they probably have a later birthday cutoff anyway. And if it’s a public school, a principal or kindergarten teacher may suggest that waiting another year before kindergarten is in your kid’s interest despite the official policy. [Source]

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