It's Late September And I Really Should Be Back At School

Birth month may impact academic achievement

For four years now I have been telling myself that I don't need to worry about where my kid is going to go to school. Time flies when you're keeping people alive. Now the time has come to get applications, take tours and make decisions. None of which I will be very good at.

I will undoubtably obsess over where to send my child to school. So many factors come into play. You worry about race ratios, test scores, hours, teachers and parent participation.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies has given parents another thing to be concerned with as their babies go off into the wild world of standardized education. It goes all the way back to conception.

IFS found that babies born near the end of the school year were likely to fall behind their peers long before they are the only ones without a driver's license, regardless of their social background.

The study found that if your kid is the youngest in class they probably have less confidence in their academic ability than the older kids.

Perhaps due to this lack of confidence the younger kids are 20 percent less likely than those with September birthdays to be school captain or club presidents. They also are less likely to attend the prestigious colleges.

"We find evidence of large and significant differences between August- and September-born children in terms of their cognitive skills, whether measured using national achievement tests or alternative indicators such as the British Ability Scales," the study said.

"These gaps are particularly pronounced when considering teacher reports of their performance, moreover, they are also present when considering differences in socio-emotional development and engagement in a range of risky behaviors."

The study also found that the children born in August were more likely to report being unhappy or experience bullying in their younger years than those born in September.

The IFS said that the research was intended as a step toward finding a way of tackling the disadvantages of being the youngest in a year group and that it planned to conduct additional research into how to address the imbalance.

There's always going to be some sort of imbalance in school, in life. I think most parents are aware of the problems differences in age makes. I also think a lot of parents would say it's the kid, not the 11 months.

Maybe we should be looking at why older kids are controlling, overachieving, bullies.

Péralte Paul November 02, 2011 at 05:31 PM
I was born in November. Today to be exact. Not sure if my birth month scarred me or if it was having Sister Mary Lucia as my 3rd grade teacher.


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