ERIC Number: ED485662
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Feb
Improving Urban Student Achievement Through Early Childhood Reform: What State Policymakers Can Do. Issue Paper. Early Childhood Reform Issue Paper
Kagan, Sharon Lynn
Education Commission of the States
For over four decades, American policymakers have focused their attention on readying young children for school. Despite noble policy efforts, durable investments and a persistent belief in the ability of early childhood education to offset social inequities, significant challenges exist for America's urban young children as they enter school. Overcoming the social inequities are particularly challenging in urban school districts, which typically have higher poverty rates and higher percentages of students for whom English is a second language than their respective states. While the 100 largest urban districts comprise less than 1% of the nation?s school districts, they educate approximately 30% of all students in poverty and 40% of all nonwhite students in the nation. Entrenched social challenges do not emerge overnight. Nor are they usually rooted in a single cause. This paper suggests three major problems conspire to produce the achievement gap that exists for very young children (from birth to age 5). While different in character, each of the problems is highly policy amenable; that is, the problems can be corrected by wise policy construction.
Education Commission of the States, 700 Broadway, Suite 1200, Denver, CO 80203-3460. Tel: 303-299-3600; Fax: 303-296-8332; Web site: www.ecs.org.
Publication Type: Reports - General
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Authoring Institution: Education Commission of the States, Denver, CO.