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Report Reveals Lack of Quality Preschools Contributes to Achievement Gap

Report Reveals Lack of Quality Preschools Contributes to Achievement Gap

America's need for higher-quality preschool programs contributes to the country's achievement gaps, according to a new report released by the U.S Department of Education.

"According to the report, A Matter of Equity: Preschool in America, of the approximately 4 million 4-year olds in the United States, about 60 percent – or nearly 2.5 million - are not enrolled in publicly funded preschool programs, including state preschool programs, Head Start and programs serving children with disabilities," said an article from the Department's press office.

Moreover, the report revealed that "children from low-income families are less likely to be enrolled in preschool than their peers – 41 percent compared to 61 percent. African-American children and children from low-income families are the most likely to be in low-quality settings and the least likely to be in high-quality settings."

This directly contributes to the country's equity gaps because preschool enrollment, particularly in high quality programs, is directly linked to student achievement.

"Children at risk for academic failure, on average, start kindergarten 12 to 14 months behind their peers in pre-literacy and language skills. Without access to quality preschool, students of color, and children from low-income families, are far less likely to be prepared to start kindergarten than their peers," the article said.

As a result, the Obama Administration has requested an increase of $500 million for the Preschool Development Grants program, a program started under his administration and that supports "states’ efforts to build or enhance their infrastructure to provide high-quality preschool programs, and expand programs in high-need communities."

The Department also discusses the possibility of making preschool mandatory in addition to K-12 through the re authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which would "expand access" to high quality preschools.

Read the full article here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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