Last summer, a kindergarten teacher told me that the previous fall she had entering students who could not count. She was aggrieved on their behalf, of course, but also concerned that she would be evaluated on the basis of their test scores. Research from the University of Missouri confirms what she already knows: those children are at a disadvantage, which may well continue into first grade. Then there’s this, according to the researcher, Professor Louis Manfra:
Previous research has shown that, in low-income families, parents often think children’s educations are the responsibility of teachers, while teachers expect parents to teach some essential skills at home.
One of these days I’ll go look at all the countries that outperform the U.S. on math assessments and see which ones have mandatory, or at least widely available, public-funded pre-school.