woman reading to sonThe results of a new report for the Los Angeles County public schools shows that African American students show “significant learning gaps by second grade.”  Los Angeles Times writer, Teresa Watanabe, reports in the article, “Black Students’ Learning Gaps Start Early, Report Says,” “…Those gaps widen with age and lead to the highest school dropout rate among all races…”

A profile of its African American students emerged from this report.  They found that black students probably are not taking rigorous college prep courses, and they tend to have more absences due to suspensions than their white counterparts.  Based on their findings, they found, “only one of every 20 African American kindergarteners will graduate from a four-year California university.”  Officials recognize that this is part of the “school-to-prison pipeline” because black children are more likely to go to prison than go to college, and they recognize the need to intervene aggressively to improve the odds for their black students.

The report further points out that African American toddlers were less likely to have books at home or to be read to everyday.  Also, black preschoolers who do attend preschool probably have teachers who don’t have degrees in early childhood education.

The Take-Aways:

  • Have books in your home.
  • Read to your preschooler every day.
  • Take advantage of any tutoring opportunities that you can afford for your child if your child has learning gaps. Do this as soon as you learn about this when the gaps are smaller.  The gaps will only get larger unless you intervene.
  • Preschools should be staffed by teachers with degrees in early childhood education.