TK in California
In 2010, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the Kindergarten Readiness Act (SB 1381) into law. The law changed the kindergarten age cutoff from December 2 to September 1, phasing in the new age requirement by moving the cutoff date back one month per year for three years, beginning in fall 2012. SB 1381 also established a new grade level—transitional kindergarten (TK)—which is the first year of a two-year kindergarten experience for students born between September 2 and December 2.
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To determine whether TK is effective in improving school readiness and learning outcomes for students, American Institutes for Research (AIR) is conducting an evaluation of the impact of TK in California. The goal of this study is to assess the impact of TK on California students’ readiness for kindergarten across multiple domains of development critical for success in school. Using a regression discontinuity design, this study examines whether TK participation improves kindergarten readiness in terms of language and literacy, math, social-emotional skills, and executive function.
We are grateful to the organizations who have provided funding for this study: the Heising-Simons Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and First 5 California.
Please use the menu options to the right to learn more about the study.