California’s Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010 established transitional kindergarten (TK), the first year of a two-year kindergarten program for students affected by the change in the birthdate cutoff for entry into kindergarten from December 2 to September 1. This final report from the program’s evaluation focuses on results from a five-year study. The study used a rigorous regression discontinuity design to examine whether TK, as a new approach to prekindergarten education for age-eligible students, leads to positive outcomes, for which students, and under what conditions.
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13 Aug 2016
The purpose of the Independent Evaluation of California’s Race to the Top–Early Learning Challenge (RTT–ELC) Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) is to inform California stakeholders about the ability of the QRIS to accurately measure program quality, differentiate programs with better learning outcomes for children, and provide quality improvement (QI) supports that meet program improvement needs.
1 Dec 2015
Transitional kindergarten—the first year of a two-year kindergarten program for California children born between September 2 and December 2—is intended to better prepare young five-year-olds for kindergarten and ensure a strong start to their educational career. AIR researchers examined the success of the program by determining the impact of transitional kindergarten on students’ readiness for kindergarten in language, literacy, mathematics, executive functioning, and social-emotional skills.
30 Sep 2015
As national attention has increasingly focused on the potential for high-quality early childhood education (ECE) to improve children’s school readiness, states have developed quality rating and improvement systems (QRISs) to document the quality of ECE programs, support systematic quality improvement, and provide clear information to families about their child care choices. This brief discusses quality improvement supports, including their prevalence in state and regional QRISs, and key considerations for their implementation.
31 Mar 2015
The California Budget Act of 2012, also known as Senate Bill 1041, contained significant reforms to the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program. The purpose of this report is to provide background on the SB 1041 reforms and offer an overview of the evaluation plan.
21 Oct 2014
The rollout of California's Kindergarten Readiness Act has given rise to questions about how transitional kindergarten is being implemented in districts throughout California. This second research brief in a series highlighting findings from the study focuses on characteristics of transitional kindergarten classrooms compared with those of kindergarten classrooms.
23 Apr 2014
A study looking at the first year of transitional kindergarten in California finds that most districts implemented the new grade level, and that approaches varied widely. Overall, transitional kindergarten appears to provide a different experience than traditional kindergarten. The results are shared in AIR's "Study of California’s Transitional Kindergarten Program: Report on the First Year of Implementation."
13 Jul 2013
Quality rating and improvement systems (QRISs) constitute an ambitious policy approach to improving early care and education practices and child outcomes. A QRIS is a uniform set of ratings, graduated by level of quality, used to assess and improve early learning and care programs. The purpose of this study, conducted by AIR and the RAND Corporation, is to support the state of California and its counties in their efforts to build robust, evidence-based quality improvement systems.