Special Report

Research: Transitional Kindergarten Improves Outcomes

Research clearly shows that children who attend high-quality preschool, or who enroll in transitional kindergarten, get a jump on learning and social skills. Preschool and TK can also have lasting effects into children’s later years of school and life. With almost $2 billion earmarked for early childhood education (ECE) in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget, we look at ECE efforts in the state and how educators and students benefit.
Photos by Scott Buschman

Michelle Bremner helps Mary Ramirez learn to write in a transitional kindergarten class at Cresson Elementary in Norwalk.

Research shows that participation in high-quality early education programs improves school readiness and contributes to better outcomes in school and beyond. A June 2017 report by the American Institutes for Research found that transitional kindergarten:

  • Improves mathematics knowledge and problem-solving skills for students, giving them almost a threemonth advantage over children who did not attend TK.
  • Improves students’ literacy skills, putting them nearly six months ahead of their peers who did not attend TK at kindergarten entry.
  • Has a persisting impact on all students’ letter and word identification skills at the end of kindergarten.
  • Has a strong impact on English learners. Those who attend TK outperform their non-TK peers on the English Language Development Test.
  • Has a strong impact on math and literacy skills of low-income students, and math skills of Hispanic students.

Little Kids, Big Impact: Special report on Early Childhood Education

Research clearly shows that children who attend high-quality preschool, or who enroll in transitional kindergarten, get a jump on learning and social skills. Preschool and TK can also have lasting effects into children’s later years of school and life. With almost $2 billion earmarked for early childhood education (ECE) in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget, we look at ECE efforts in the state and how educators and students benefit.

A model preschool program in Lindsay
The rural school district offers free preschool to all, with marked success

Expert Q&A: Preschool’s positive impacts
A Learning Policy Institute researcher and analyst weighs in

Transitional kindergarten gets a gold star
TK gives students foundational skills and confidence

What educators want you to know
Insights from early childhood education teachers, specialists

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