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Achievement Gap Between Young Poor and Wealthy Children is Closing

Achievement Gap Between Young Poor and Wealthy Children is Closing

Efforts to close the achievement gap between low and high-income children appear to be working, a recent study indicates.

Published in the AERA Open, In Reversal, Kindergarten Readiness Gaps Narrow has found that readiness gaps narrowed modestly from 1998-2010, particularly between high- and low-income students and between white and Hispanic students.

According to U.S. News, the researchers behind the study "used data from the National Center for Education Statistics to examine the reading, writing, and math skills of around 17,000 incoming kindergarten students in 2010 and compare them with those of about 20,000 students who started in 1998. They also compared students from families at the 10th and 90th percentiles of income distribution.”

Based on the data, the researchers concluded that in order for the achievement to close completely, it will take another 60-110 years if efforts remain the same.

U.S. News says the study "is good news for early childhood education advocates, who have been pushing federal, state and local governments to invest more resources into preschool in an effort to close achievement gaps.”

In addition to increased investment into preschool on a national level, the study’s researchers speculate that increased parental involvement might have something to do with it.

Many people believe different efforts can help improve preschool programs and therefore the achievement levels of kindergarten students regardless of familial income status.

In June, a report from Educational Testing Service (ETS) used surveys, focus groups and interviews to find that policy makers should turn their attention to the potential creation of national learning standards for Pre-K students.

"National standards could help ensure that children across the nation have the same opportunities to develop literacy skills and that children who move from one state to another are not left behind,” the report said.

Read the full story here.

Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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