Eliminating the Racial Gap in Educational Readiness in Preschool Children

A new report from the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, shows that educational gaps between Whites and Blacks emerge at a very early age.

The study found that by the time they enter kindergarten, Black children are on average nearly nine months behind in math and almost seven months behind in reading compared to their White non-Hispanic peers. Math and reading abilities at kindergarten entry are powerful predictors of later school success, and children who enter kindergarten behind are unlikely to catch up, according to the authors of the report.

The report finds that Black and White children are enrolled in early childhood education programs at nearly the same rate. But they note that White children are far more likely to be enrolled in high-quality programs.

The authors state that one year of universal high-quality pre-K could practically eliminate the Black-White reading skills gap at kindergarten entry — from nearly seven months to almost zero — and cut the math skills gap almost in half — from about nine months to five months.

But the authors warn that “providing all Black children access to high-quality preschool will not be a small task. It will require raising quality standards, expanding enrollment, and, of course, more funding. The budget problems states currently face could well lead to the exact opposite: lower standards, decreased enrollment, and less spending. We saw this happen in the Great Recession. If we again roll back progress in access and quality, racial inequalities will worsen.”

 

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Alcorn State University Announces Unique STEM-Focused MBA Degree Program

The new STEM-MBA program at Alcorn State, the first of its kind in the state of Mississippi, will prepare students to become business leaders in STEM industries through courses on foundational STEM and business concepts, as well as data analysis and strategic decision-making.

Five Black Women Who Have Been Appointed to Dean Positions at Universities Across the United States

Here is this week’s roundup of African Americans who have been appointed to dean positions at universities throughout the United States. If you have news for our appointments section, please email the information to contact@jbhe.com.

PNC Partners With Howard University to Empower Black Entrepreneurship

The Howard University and PNC National Center for Entrepreneurship aims to support and educate Black entrepreneurs from across the country. The collaborative initiative includes three other HBCU partners: Morgan State University, Clark Atlanta University, and Texas Southern University.

Saida Grundy Wins Race, Gender, and Class Book Award From the American Sociology Association

Dr. Grundy's book, Respectable: Politics and Paradox in Making the Morehouse Man, explores the culture and experiences of graduates from Morehouse College in Atlanta, the country's only historically Black college for men.

Featured Jobs