NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1066378
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-May
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1540-8000
Early Learning: Unintended Consequences of the Push to Close the Gap by Increasing Quality
Sirinides, Phil
State Education Standard, v15 n2 p42-48 May 2015
Public education in the United States continues to be marked by persistent disparities in test scores, high school completion rates, and college enrollment rates based on factors such as students' household income, race/ethnicity, and gender. These achievement gaps are already in evidence before children begin school. Students that are assessed as not ready for kindergarten are disproportionately from the same groups as those that are at risk of low performance at school. Strong evidence links early literacy, mathematics, and social skills with later school performance. But there is also good news: A growing body of evidence suggests that children's early learning opportunities can promote later academic achievement. Thus state and federal efforts to close the achievement gap have zeroed in on closing the school readiness gap. Early learning and school readiness have attracted unprecedented national attention as policymakers seek to address the achievement gap by expanding access to high-quality early education. Unfortunately, early evidence suggests that the public-private market is not expanding access to high-quality child care for students that need it most. While recent policy has focused on increasing the supply of high-quality programs, obstacles to increasing the demand for such programs remain to be addressed. To gain an understanding of why that is, this article first explores how policy has sought to identify and support quality programs in early childhood education. It describes the landscape of early learning and discusses the challenge of supply and demand in relation to high- and low-quality child care services and the role that the quality rating improvement systems (QRIS) plays. Finally, the article presents three strategies for state and local public education leaders to consider when addressing the mismatch between supply and demand.
National Association of State Boards of Education. 2121 Crystal Drive Suite 350, Arlington, VA 22202. Tel: 800-368-5023; Tel: 703-684-4000; Fax: 703-836-2313; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A