Emma García and Elain Weiss. Education inequalities at the school starting gate: Gaps, trends, and strategies to address them. September 2017. Washington, D.C.: Economic Policy Institute.
Extensive research has conclusively demonstrated that children’s social class is one of the most significant predictors — if not the single most significant predictor — of their educational success. Moreover, it is increasingly apparent that performance gaps by social class take root in the earliest years of children’s lives and fail to narrow in the years that follow. That is, children who start behind stay behind — they are rarely able to make up the lost ground. The positive news is that the gaps have not grown, even as economic inequalities between these two groups of students have grown. The negative news is that the gaps have not narrowed, despite the fact that low-SES parents have substantially increased their engagement in their children’s early education.