Grissmer, David, & Eiseman, Elizabeth
Can Gaps in the Quality of Early Environments and Noncognitive Skills Help Explain Persisting Black-White Achievement Gaps?
University of Virginia
Examination of whether or not early childhood environments and cognitive development/achievement skills influence the Black-White achievement gaps.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Russel Sage Foundation
Steady Gains and Stalled Progress: Inequality and the Black-White Test Score Gap, Chapter 4, pp. 139-180
- Very strong effect with about a 0.5 standard deviation difference between children one year apart, other things equal.
- Children entering kindergarten early score about 0.2 standard deviation higher than those entering on time, and children entering late score about 0.14 lower.
- Almost all family variables are strongly associated with achievement in the expected direction.
- Family income, age of mother at birth, and number of siblings show strong effects.
- Statistically significant and positive associations between achievement and a greater number of books in the home, high birth weight, more places lived since birth, a nondepressed mother, better child health, and absense of long-term money problems in the home.
- Playing games as a family shows a positive impact but sports and ubilding activities show little effect.
- More television watching is associated with lower reading readiness.
- Fine motor skills and approaches to learning show an unusually strong significance.
- The Black-White reading score gap at kindergarten entrance is about one-half that at fourth grade and the gap at eighth grade is approximately the same as at fourth grade.
- Suggests that high quality preschool of pre-K will be necessary but not enough to close gaps
Chapter in Book
Academic Achievement, Achievement Gap, African American, Cognitive Ability, Environment
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- Used the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey of Kindergarteners (ECLS-K)
- Sample consists of data from approximately 19,173 students in the 1998-99 school year.
- Used only first-time kindergarten entrants.
- DV: Reading scores
- IV: Family/parent/home/community characteristics, noncognitive characteristics