Schanzenbach: Redshirting Generally 'Not Worth It'

Schanzenbach: Redshirting Generally 'Not Worth It'

Diane SchanzenbachRedshirting, or delaying a child’s entry into kindergarten, may do more harm than good, Northwestern University’s Diane Schanzenbach wrote in the summer issue of Education Next.

In the essay “Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?” Schanzenbach and coauthor Stephanie Howard Larson, a preschool director, discuss the pros and cons of redshirting, which is often thought to give a child an advantage. Drawing on both research and classroom experience, they offer parents practical, evidence-based advice.

“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 acknowledge a child is likely to 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 professor of education and social policy at Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy and director of The Hamilton Project. Stephanie Howard Larson is director of Rose Hall Montessori School in Wilmette, Illinois. 

Read the entire essay.

Media coverage:

By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 4/21/17