|Keywords:||Educational leadership; Elementary education|
|Full text PDF:||http://pqdtopen.proquest.com/#viewpdf?dispub=10260461|
Of the many narratives to which educators subscribe, one of the most prevalent for the past three decades is the idea that students success is strongly predicated on their ability to read on grade level by the end of third grade. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of half-day versus full-day kindergarten on students growth in reading achievement by the end of their kindergarten year. In addition, the study sought to look at the same group of students and growth in reading achievement and their ability to achieve grade-level reading by the end of third grade. In this quantitative study, students (N = 295) from a school district in suburban Chicago, Illinois, were tested to determine what growth, if any, could be seen within their kindergarten year of study. Additionally, student test results were analyzed for each successive year of schooling through third grade to determine if there were any specific variables that contribute to predicting achievement growth or overall achievement by the end of third grade. Results of the study indicated that full-day kindergarten provides greater benefit to a students overall achievement. Specifically, students who were coded as receiving free or reduced lunch support maintained a high rate of achievement in the full-day kindergarten program. In the regression analysis, the element that made the greatest contribution toward kindergarten achievement growth was not having an Individual Education Plan. Additionally, reading achievement growth was made in each grade level, with the most significant growth noted in the second grade year. Finally, when students from each kindergarten schedule were compared to the end of year targets for reading on grade level by the end of third grade, students in the half-day program were found to have made the greatest gains. However, the selection of students for the full-day kindergarten program was comprised of students who were considered at risk and not comprised of a cross section of students with varied abilities.