College and Career Readiness: The Importance of Early Learning. Policy ReportReportar como inadecuado

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As the nation strives to have all students graduate from high school ready for college and other postsecondary learning opportunities, Americans have to confront the reality that they are far from achieving this goal. The problem is most severe with economically disadvantaged students. For many students, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, learning gaps appear in early childhood. That learning gaps emerge early, particularly among disadvantaged students, is one of the better-documented facts in education. Students who do not have a good start usually do not thrive later on. Getting students off to a good start in preschool and the elementary grades is vitally important for several reasons: (1) Learning takes time; (2) Learning is cumulative; (3) Student interests often develop at an early age; and (4) Empirical evidence shows the difficulty of catching students up in middle and high school. What kinds of learning are important to emphasize in the early years? The following are components of a strong preschool and elementary school education; (1) A strong start in reading (decoding) and mathematics; (2) A content-rich curriculum; and (3) Activities that develop students' academic and social behaviors. (Contains 40 endnotes.)

Descriptors: Economically Disadvantaged, Academic Achievement, Early Childhood Education, Student Interests, Needs Assessment, Reading Skills, Decoding (Reading), Elementary School Mathematics, Difficulty Level, Student Development, Social Development, College Readiness, Career Readiness, Education Work Relationship

ACT, Inc. 500 ACT Drive, P.O. Box 168, Iowa City, IA 52243-0168. Tel: 319-337-1270; Web site:

Autor: ACT, Inc.


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