Perceptions of policymakers regarding transitional kindergarten as a policy initiative

by Robin Ann Henderson

Institution: California State University – Stanislaus
Year: 2016
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2127780
Full text PDF: http://scholarworks.csustan.edu/handle/011235813/987


Limited research is available on California’s transitional kindergarten (TK). Transitional kindergarten was established in the Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010 (Simitian, 2010) which sought to change the kindergarten start age from four years and nine months old to five years old by September 1. This qualitative study was conducted to understand the perceptions of policymakers and political stakeholders regarding transitional kindergarten as a policy initiative. Six interviews were conducted to capture the policymakers and political stakeholders’ views of TK. The interviews were transcribed and thematized. These themes present themselves differently between two groups of participants. The creator group included participants involved in the birth and development of the Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010 which established transitional kindergarten. The implementer group included participants involved in the implementation of this policy within school districts. The results created a descriptive microhistory (Brewer, 2014) of transitional kindergarten through the perceptions of these policymakers and political stakeholders. Using the principle of interest convergence stemming from critical race theory (Bell, 1980, 2004: Delgado, 2006) as a theoretical frame it appears that transitional kindergarten came into existence based on the interest convergence of several stakeholder groups. These groups include teachers’ interests to meet accountability issues, the California Teachers Association to maintain funding in Prop. 98 and teachers’ jobs, Early Edge California in expanding early learning opportunities for children, and the state legislature in finding budget saving measures. Advisors/Committee Members: McKenzie, Kathryn Bell (advisor).