Many parents debate when to start school for children born in the summer, which is close to the kindergarten eligibility cutoff date of Sept. 1.
Using data from the Department of Education’s Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Schanzenbach found parents of boys are more likely to redshirt. Among parents of the 2010 kindergarten class, 6.2 percent delayed their child’s school start by a year. Breaking it down by gender, 7.2 percent of parents of boys redshirted, compared to 5.2 percent of parents of girls.
And it’s more common among well educated parents. When you look at boys with college-educated parents, one in five was redshirted, a rate four times that of summer-born boys with high-school educated parents.
Among the issues related to redshirting: Being older may be an advantage in kindergarten but become a problem in third or fourth grade when the older student may be bored. The presumed age advantage disappears by high school. There is evidence younger kids actually benefit from being in class with older kids. And holding children out a year may mean another year of preschool costs for families.
To read more about the evidence around redshirting and academic performance, go to the AJC Get Schooled blog.