+ Executive Summary
+ Children's Reading and Mathematics Achievement in Kindergarten and First Grade
Organization of the Report
In an effort to provide information on the early education experiences of the typical child (i.e., one who spent 1 year in kindergarten and who continued on to first grade), the children included in the analysis entered kindergarten for the first time in fall of 1998 and were promoted to first grade in the fall of 1999.9 In terms of the population distributions for children who repeated kindergarten in the fall of 1999 versus those who were promoted to first grade in the fall of 1999: repeaters were 67 percent White,10 16 percent Black, 10 percent Hispanic, 1 percent Asian, 5 percent Other, and 27 percent poor; those promoted to first grade in the fall of 1999 were 62 percent White, 17 percent Black, 13 percent Hispanic, 2 percent Asian, 5 percent Other, and 18 percent poor.
Further, since this report provides information on children's early reading achievement, and the reading assessment was administered in English, the analyses in this report are limited to those children who were administered the English reading assessment. To achieve consistency in the sample across rounds (i.e., fall kindergarten, spring kindergarten and spring first grade), the analyses in this report are limited to those children who were assessed in English in all three rounds of data collection. In terms of English assessment status by race/ethnicity, approximately 68 percent of Hispanic children and 78 percent of Asian children were assessed in English in fall and spring of kindergarten and in the spring of first grade.11
The analytic sample included in this report, when weighted, produces population distributions as follows: 50 percent male, 50 percent female; 62 percent White, 17 percent Black, 13 percent Hispanic, 3 percent Asian, and 5 percent Other; 19 percent poor, 81 percent nonpoor; 5 percent public, 15 percent private.
The estimates in this report do not exactly match those found in America's Kindergartners or The Kindergarten Year, previous reports based on ECLS-K data (National Center for Education Statistics 2000; National Center for Education Statistics 2001). This report utilizes both fall and spring kindergarten and spring first grade child assessment scores; therefore, a different weight was used in making the estimates. The weight in this report is stricter in its response requirements and utilizes a slightly smaller sample of children. Further, this report focuses on those children who entered kindergarten for the first time in the fall of 1998 and were promoted to first grade "on time" in the fall of 1999. Therefore, the kindergarten year estimates are based on a smaller sample of children (i.e., the approximately 5 percent of first-time kindergarten children who were eventually retained are not included in these estimates).
9 Future reports based on the ECLS-K will explore the scholastic experiences of retained children.