Early childhood and the achievement gap

Authors
Susanna Loeb,
Daphna Bassok
Year of publication
2007
Publication
Handbook of Research in Education Finance and Policy
Publisher
Routledge Press
Editors
In H.F. Ladd & E.B. Fiske (Eds.)
Pages
517-534
School do not create achievement gaps. By the time children enter kindergarten, dramatic socio-economic and racial school-readiness gaps are deeply entrenched. Data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS-K), a large, nationally representative survey, show that at kindergarten entry, the average cognitive scores of children from high socioeconomic backgrounds are approximately three-fifths of a standard deviation higher than those of children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds (Reardon, 2003;lee & Burkham, 2002; Coley, 2002). Significant differences in cognitive assessment scores are also evident between racial groups, with white students scoring two-thirds of a standard deviation higher on a test of reading. The Hispanic-white gap is even more pronounced (Fryer & Levitt, 2004; Rumberger & Anguiano, 2004). Study after study confirms this early childhood gap, which seems to surface as early as 18 months and widen throughout early childhood (Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000).

Suggested Citation:

Loeb, S., & Bassok, D. (2007). Early childhood and the achievement gap. In H.F. Ladd & E.B. Fiske (Eds.). Handbook of Research in Education Finance and Policy. Routledge Press, 517-534