University of Wisconsin–Madison

How Much Can High-Quality Universal Pre-K Reduce Achievment Gaps?

Type Policy Brief or Report
Year 2016
Level State
State(s) All States
Policy Areas Children & Families, Civil Rights, Economic Justice, Education
Many children of color and children from low-income families enter kindergarten without the academic skills they need to succeed; these disparities in skills early on likely contribute to later achievement gaps observed during elementary school, for children who enter kindergarten already behind are unlikely to catch up. Using empirical evidence, this report suggests that implementing a high-quality universal, publicly funded, pre-k program would significantly enhance children’s development, reduce achievement gaps at kindergarten entry, and even have long-term benefits for children’s long-term school trajectories.

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