Tuesday, May 17, 2005

National Report on Early School Experiences (NCES)

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has now released its report on Early School Experiences.

Take-home points:

- 'Interest' in reading correlates with achievement (So if you can't read well, you probably won't like it)
- Full vs. half day kindergarten doesn't affect achievement
- By the end of the 3rd grade, kids can identify words, but struggle with inferences
- Only 29% of 3rd graders can make inferences beyond the literal text (27% public, 37% private)
- By the end of the 3rd grade, boys are better at word problems, but girls are at reading
- Private school students outscored public in reading, math, and science
- African American students showed the slowest rise in achievement from kindergarten to the 3rd grade
- "Full-day kindergarten is not randomly distributed; rather, children at risk of school failure are more likely to attend such programs (Walston and West 2004)"
- Highest scoring kids in reading have parents with highest level of education and the most books at home (> 100)

Executive Summary, From Kindergarten Through Third Grade
The Condition of Education 2004

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