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Jonathan Plucker
Center for Evaluation and Education Policy

Tracy James
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Full-day kindergarten versus half-day programs to be scrutinized

Indiana University receives $802,000 grant

MAY 31, 2005

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The long-term and short-term impact of full-day kindergarten on academic achievement will be examined by Indiana University Bloomington's Center for Evaluation & Education Policy, which has received an $802,000 grant to fund this novel three-year study.

The U.S. Department of Education grant will allow CEEP researchers to compare the academic development of full-day kindergarten students with students in traditional half-day programs in the Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corp. in neighboring Ellettsville.

Public interest and support for full-day kindergarten has increased in recent years, according to CEEP surveys. The Indiana legislature has debated whether to provide additional funding for such programs, so far deciding against such proposals. This new research project will provide rigorous evidence to support local and state policy-makers in their decisions. The study will allow researchers to examine academic outcomes beyond the kindergarten year, making the project unique.

"This is a truly unique partnership," said CEEP Director Jonathan Plucker. "By working together, not only do the school district and IU benefit, but the children benefit in multiple ways. Access to full-day kindergarten is expanded, and the research should help us understand how to improve kindergarten to help even more children."

RBBCSC began offering one full-day kindergarten classroom in the fall of 2004. A second full-day classroom will be added this fall. The federal grant will partially fund the second full-day classroom. The district will continue offering half-day classrooms as well.

CEEP promotes and supports rigorous program evaluation and policy research primarily, but not exclusively, for education, human services and non-profit organizations. Its research uses both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. To learn more about CEEP, go to

Plucker can be reached at 812-855-4438 and Thomas Edington, who will become the RBBCSC superintendent on June 1, can be reached at 812-876-7100 and