With so much attention to international comparisons of K-12 test scores, it would be good to also look at opportunities for young children -- as we also look at policies that are boosting college attendance rate in other countries.
"On the early childhood front, the United States has one of the lowest enrollment rates among OECD countries, where, on average, more than 70 percent of young children attend preschool. That’s up sharply from an average of 40 to 50 percent a decade ago.
But in the United States, only 41 percent of 3-year-olds and 66 percent of 4-year-olds are enrolled in preschools. “It’s an area where the U.S. trails quite a bit behind,” said Schleicher.
Schleicher added that he’s seeing proof that early childhood education makes a difference. He’s said that kids who attended early childhood programs tend to score higher on the Program for International Student Assessment, which assess 15-year-olds around the world in reading, math and other subjects. Even between two children from families of similar income levels, Schleicher explained, the one who attended preschool tended to post higher academic outcomes in high school."
"Whatever the explanation, the analysis says that the trend is troubling.
"These data are even more worrisome with this fact in mind: While the percentage of low-income students in elementary and secondary schools is increasing, the percentage of low-income students who go on to college is falling," the analysis says. "Said a bit differently, at the same time that low-income individuals are enrolling in college at lower rates, the majority of young adults in the pre-college education pipeline are from those same low-income communities.""
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Once you have oxygen, heat, water, and food.
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