English-Language Learners Report Roundup

Skills Gaps

By Christina A. Samuels — July 06, 2015 1 min read

Change the Equation, a Washington-based organization promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or stem, studies, looked at how American millennials—the first “digital natives” because they were born between the late 1970s and the mid-1990s after the advent of the Internet—fared in an international study of adult skills in 19 countries.

The Washington-based Economic Policy Institute found that race-based gaps in skills such as reading and math, eagerness to learn, persistence, and focus shrink significantly when socioeconomic status is taken into account.

About 46 percent of black children and 63 percent of Hispanic English-learners live in poverty, the study notes.

Its title is a deliberate allusion to a 2002 report published by EPI called “Inequality at the Starting Gate,” which drew on the experiences of children who started school in 1998.

The new study showed that the disparities extend to noncognitive skills in addition to language arts and math.

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A version of this article appeared in the July 08, 2015 edition of Education Week as Skills Gaps

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