Tom Weber, MPR News, November 20, 2011
State education officials have released new data showing an achievement gap exists for students in Minnesota, even before they begin elementary school.
The Minnesota Readiness Study finds children of color and children who live in poverty are less likely to be considered ready for kindergarten than white students and those living above the poverty line.
State Education Department spokeswoman Charlene Briner says it’s not surprising that the achievement gap between children of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, and between those from different economic situations, is showing up in children at such young ages.
“These gaps that we see in our early learners are consistent all the way through,” she said. “It’s not a surprise to us. It’s another piece of evidence that really affirms that there are some significant gaps that we need to overcome in order to make sure every child learns.”
Among the results, 63 percent of white students were considered ready for kindergarten, compared to 44 percent of Hispanic students, 44 percent of American Indian students, and 57 percent of black students.