Redshirting Essay Most-Read of the Year

Redshirting Essay Most-Read of the Year

Diane SchanzenbachDiane Whitmore Schanzenbach’s article “Is Your Child Ready For Kindergarten? Redshirting may do more harm than good,” was the most popular story of 2017 in EducationNext, a journal of opinion and research. 

In the essay, Northwestern University's Schanzenbach and coauthor Stephanie Howard Larson discussed the pros and cons of redshirting or delaying a child’s entry into kindergarten. Drawing on both research and classroom experience, they offered parents practical, evidence-based advice.

Listen to Schanzenbach on the EdNext podcast.

“Notably, we find that Larson’s take on the issue, formed by 14 years of experience with preschoolers and their parents, accords perfectly with Schanzenbach’s conclusions based on academic studies: Redshirting is generally not worth it,” they wrote.

The authors acknowledged a child will likely be successful whichever path his parents choose. However, “in most instances, there is a good case to be made for resisting the pressure—not only from schools but sometimes from other parents as well—and sending a child to school when he is first age-eligible,” they wrote.

Schanzenbach is the Margaret Walker Alexander Professor of Human Development and Social Policy at the School of Education and Social Policy and director of the Institute for Policy Research. Larson is director of Rose Hall Montessori School in Wilmette, Illinois.

In 2015, Kirabo Jackson’s article, “Does school spending matter after all?” was the 16th most-read article of the year in EducationNext. Jackson coauthored the piece with Rucker C. Johnson of the University of California, Berkeley and Claudia Persico (MS14, PhD16), of the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 1/10/18