NEW YORK - A new analysis conducted by the Independent Budget Office found that NYC public school students born later in the year are more likely to be identified with a learning disability.
The IBO examined students in kindergarten through 3rd grade and looked at their month and year of birth for the 2017-18 school year. It found that the Department of Education classified roughly a fifth of its students as students with disabilities.
“They might be viewed as not as capable as other kids in their class but in fact it is not an innate issue with them, but rather it’s the environment that they may not just be ready to meet those developmental demands,” said Dr. Matthew Pagirsky, a clinical neuropsychologist at the Child Mind Institute.
New York City Public Schools mandate that children who turn 5 by December 31 must go to kindergarten, which according to published reports mean that roughly a third of public school students are expected to start kindergarten at age 4. IBO linked the correlation to the late age cut off.
“They are being compared against kids I the same grade who are much older, but given that there is so much development that can happen in a couple short months, that would explain why you see some of those discrepancies,” Pagirsky said.