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Early Achievement Gaps

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Even before they walk or enter preschool, children from poor families trail behind their more advantaged peers on measures rating their behavior and cognitive abilities, according to a reportRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader from Child Trends.

The study by the Washington-based research group also finds similar gaps between minority children and white children, between children of mothers with a high school diploma or less and those whose mothers are more educated, and between children growing up in Spanish-speaking homes and those from English-speaking households. Moreover, the study shows, the disparities widen as children get older.

The findings are based on data from the federal Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, which tracks a nationally representative set of infants born in 2001. The authors say the results speak to the need for programs that target disadvantaged children from birth.

Vol. 28, Issue 37, Page 5

Published in Print: August 12, 2009, as Early Achievement Gaps
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