The effects of transitional kindergarten on the reading fluency achievement of first graders

As academic expectations of students become more rigorous, school readiness has become crucial in the achievement of young students entering formal education. The Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010 changed the date for admission to kindergarten in California, and a new grade level was created. Transitional kindergarten (TK) would be Year 1 of a 2-year Kindergarten experience for children whose birthdays fell on or between September 2 and December 2. Transitional kindergarten would focus on competency in social and emotional skills and emphasize the importance of a developmentally appropriate curriculum. Also, pre-literacy skills and mathematics would be introduced in TK. As TK approaches its sixth year of implementation, a limited amount of research is available on the effectiveness of an additional year of schooling for young students who meet birth date qualifications for TK. The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of TK on the reading fluency of first graders. Reading fluency scores from 2nd trimester assessments were collected to determine if there is a difference in reading rate between first graders who attended TK and first graders who did not attend TK. An independent t-test was used to determine if a significant difference exists in reading fluency between first graders that attended TK and those that did not participate in TK. Through statistical analysis, the author found that there was a significant difference in reading fluency between first grade students who attended TK and first grade students who did not attend TK. Students who attended TK outperformed students who did not attend TK.