By: Krystle Crossman
Unfortunately not all school experiences are the same for students because of their socioeconomic status. Kids who live in high-income areas have access to better education and more options. Those who are in low-income areas tend to do worse in school and are not offered as many options. Many do not have access to pre-schools which would help them to get ahead of the game before they entered kindergarten.
The group that put Sesame Street together, The Sesame Workshop, conducted data analysis to show just how much the low-income students are behind once they enter kindergarten. They took four different risk factors and looked to see how these factors impacted the child’s education. The four risk factors are:
– The child’s mother didn’t graduate from high school
– The child grew up in a home where English was not the primary language
– The child grew up in a household with an income below the poverty line
– The child only had one parent raising them
The researchers then took data from a study that was completed in the 2010-2011 school year. There were 18,000 children studied in all. They ranged from kids who were going into kindergarten for the first time, kids who were repeating kindergarten, all the way up to fifth grade students. Out of that group 15,000 were kids that were entering kindergarten for the first time. 44% of those children had at least one risk factor. The children with more risk factors than others did poorly in basic skills such as math and reading.
They found that children who had all four risk factors in their lives were at least a year behind in their reading and math skills upon entering kindergarten. One of the biggest problems with this is that these children had to work twice as hard to be able to keep up with their peers and finish kindergarten at the same level as everyone else. They also found some other data that showed that kindergartens classes had high instances of segregation between kindergarten class as determined by the child’s race and their poverty level.