Do you have information on the knowledge and skills of young children?
Differences among demographic groups in the acquisition of cognitive skills have been demonstrated at relatively early ages in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey's Birth Cohort (ECLS-B) study as well as its Kindergarten Class (ECLS-K) studies.
In 2003–04, about 64 percent of 2-year-olds demonstrated proficiency in expressive vocabulary, which measured toddlers' ability to communicate using gestures, words, and sentences. The percentage of 2-year-olds demonstrating expressive vocabulary was higher for females (69 percent) than for males (59 percent). Also, a higher percentage of White (71 percent) and Asian (62 percent) 2-year-olds demonstrated expressive vocabulary than of Black, Hispanic, or American Indian/Alaska Native 2-year-olds (56, 54, and 50 percent, respectively). The percentage of 2-year-olds from families with high socioeconomic status (SES) who demonstrated expressive vocabulary (75 percent) was higher than the percentage of children from low-SES families who did so (52 percent).
Patterns of differences were also observed by race/ethnicity and SES for children at about 4 years of age (48 to 57 months old). In 2005–06, average early reading scores were higher for White (27) and Asian (31) 48- to 57-month-old children than for Black (23), Hispanic (21), and American Indian/Alaska Native (20) children. Also, high-SES children (33) had higher average early reading scores than low-SES children (19) at this age. These same patterns were observed among 48- to 57-month-old children with respect to average mathematics scores. White (32) and Asian (35) 48- to 57-month-old children had higher mathematics scores than Black (27), Hispanic (26), and American Indian/Alaska Native children (23). High-SES 48- to 57-month-old children (36) had higher average mathematics scores than low-SES children (24).
Children who enrolled in kindergarten for the first time in 2010–11 showed similar patterns of score differences by race/ethnicity and SES. In fall 2010, average mathematics scores were higher for first-time kindergartners from high-SES families (41) than for those from low-SES families (27). White (37) and Asian (39) first-time kindergartners had higher mathematics scores than their Black (31), Hispanic (30), and American Indian/Alaska Native (32) counterparts. Similarly, reading scores in fall 2010 were higher for White (54) and Asian (57) first-time kindergartners than for their Black (51), Hispanic (48), and American Indian/Alaska Native (49) counterparts. High-SES children (59) had higher average early reading scores than low-SES children (46). These same patterns were observed among these children during 1st grade in spring 2012. White (76) and Asian (76) 1st-graders had higher mathematics scores than their Black (64), Hispanic (65), and American Indian/Alaska Native (72) counterparts. Average mathematics scores were higher for 1st-graders from high-SES families (81) than for those from low-SES families (62). Average reading scores were also higher for White (94) and Asian (95) 1st-graders than for their Black (87), Hispanic (85), and American Indian/Alaska Native (90) counterparts; and 1st-graders from high-SES families (99) had higher average reading scores than those from low-SES families (81).
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2018). Digest of Education Statistics, 2016 (NCES 2017-094), Chapter 2.
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