The Effect of Attending Full–Day Kindergarten on English Learner Students

Author: Jill S. Cannon, Alison Jacknowitz, and Gary Painter
Year Published: 2011

A significant and growing English learner (EL) population attends public schools in the United States. Evidence suggests they are at a disadvantage when entering school and their achievement lags behind non–EL students. Some educators have promoted full–day kindergarten programs as especially helpful for EL students. The authors of this paper take advantage of the large EL population and variation in full–day kindergarten implementation in the Los Angeles Unified School District to examine the impact of full–day kindergarten on academic achievement, retention, and English language fluency using difference–in–differences models. They do not find signficant effects of full–day kindergarten on most academic outcomes and English fluency through second grade. However, they do find that EL students attending full–day kindergarten were 5 percentage points less likely to be retained before second grade and there are differential effects for several outcomes by student and school characteristics.


Cannon, J.S., Jacknowitz, A., Painter, G. (2011). "The effect of attending full–day kindergarten on English learner students." Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. 30 (2): 287–309. Retrieved from

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