Is Kindergarten the New First Grade?The accountability pressures ushered in by No Child Left Behind more than decade ago reached the nation’s kindergarten classrooms, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Virginia. In “Is Kindergarten the New First Grade?” Daphna Bassock, Scott Lathem and Anna Rorem tracked the level of academic focus in kindergarten from 1998 and 2010. While they expected to find some degree of increased attention on the reading and math skills emphasized by the now-replaced NCLB, the researchers were somewhat surprised by the magnitude.