This report highlights a pervasive achievement gap that positions low-income preschoolers far behind their more affluent classmates. Readers will discover how lessons from research and the real world point to an inspiring solution — one that combines professional development with a teaching approach called intentional curriculum. This report is part of a series penned by the National Center for Children in Poverty that aims to advance academic discourse on bolstering early learning success among low-income children.

September 12, 2006

In This Report, You’ll Learn

  1. 1

    What research says about addressing achievement gaps.

  2. 2

    What intentional curriculum means.

  3. 3

    The importance of training and supporting teachers.

  4. 4

    Tips for players involved in early learning reforms.

Key Takeaway

The achievement gap related to income status is real and significant

The research is clear: Poverty and its associated hardships are strongly and consistently associated with negative academic outcomes in early childhood. For example, one study examining the average cognitive scores of incoming kindergarteners found that children in the lowest socioeconomic group posted totals that were 60% below those of classmates from the highest socioeconomic group.     

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations