April 9, 2016

Reducing Achievement Gaps in Pre-K

Educational achievement gaps based on race, ethnicity, and income start early and increase exponentially over time. Unfortunately, many children of color and children from low-income families enter kindergarten without the academic skills and resources that they need to succeed.

A new report from the Center for American Progress explains how a high-quality universal pre-kindergarten program could help reduce achievement gaps for young children nationwide. The report notes that educational disparities due to differing socioeconomic backgrounds are stark: African American, Hispanic, and low-income children are less likely to access center-based early childhood education than their white and more affluent peers. Moreover, the quality of most early education programs attended by low-income children of color is not high enough to substantially improve academic readiness. “These achievement gaps are concerning: Math and reading abilities at kindergarten entry are powerful predictors of later school success, and children who enter kindergarten already behind are unlikely to catch up,” the authors explain.

Faith communities and people of conscience are especially concerned with improving opportunities for all children in education—and beyond. We hope that this resource is helpful for you in your ongoing efforts to build more equitable communities.

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