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Minorities and Special Ed

For years policy makers believed that minorities were overrepresented in special education and that there was inherent bias in the way kids were being identified as disabled. A new study turns this idea on its head.

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in collaboration with Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity

Invest in early childhood education

File under: child care, education

0 (0 votes)

From: Elizabeth P., Chapel Hill, NC

I'm a researcher at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, working on ways to close the achievement gap between children raised in poverty and other children. The results of one of the studies I work on, the Abecedarian Project, provides strong evidence that early childhood education in a high quality child care setting can have long lasting effects (we now have data through age 30) on the educational outcomes of these children, including more likely to go to college. Higher education is associated with higher economic outcomes -- thus a way to fight poverty!

Further, both neurological research and economic research demonstrate that the earlier in life we begin, the easier it is and the less expensive it is to achieve these results. The cost-benefits analysis of our study found that for every $1 spent, society got back $2.50 (from higher taxes paid on higher incomes because of better educational outcomes). Another long-term study of early educational intervention for children raised in poverty, the Perry Preschool Project, found for every $1 spent, over $12 was saved in reduced crime rates. So, my vote for tackling this problem: working with families and young children from birth. The science backs up this approach very clearly.


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American RadioWorks |
Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Minorities and Special Ed

For years policy makers believed that minorities were overrepresented in special education and that there was inherent bias in the way kids were being identified as disabled. A new study turns this idea on its head.

Recent Posts

  • 06.23.15

    Learning from Video Games

    A lot of parents worry about whether their kids' video game habits are harmful - especially when gaming gets in the way of homework or reading. But writer Greg Toppo says gaming can be a great way to learn.
  • 06.17.15

    Teaching the Birds and the Bees

    For more than a century, Americans have been arguing about how to teach children about the birds and the bees in public schools. A new book argues that for all the fuss about sex education in America, students get precious little of it.
  • 06.11.15

    What can Japan teach us about teaching?

    Coming up this fall we'll be releasing a documentary about teacher preparation - how people learn to become teachers and how they get better once they're in the classroom. This week: how do Japanese teachers learn to improve on the job?
  • 06.02.15

    Million-Dollar Teacher

    When Nancie Atwell was growing up, she never thought she’d go to college, let alone become an award-winning teacher. But a few months ago, Atwell received a $1-million-dollar global prize for her decades of teaching English and literacy skills to elementary and middle schoolers.