Journal article

Trends in children’s academic skills at school entry: 2010 to 2017

June 2020

Published in:

Educational Researcher,  https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189X20931078

By: Megan Kuhfeld, James Soland, Christine Pitts, Margaret Burchinal


Abstract

Students’ level of academic skills at school entry are a strong predictor of later academic success, and focusing on improving these skills during the preschool years has been a priority during the past 10 years. Evidence from two prior nationally representative studies indicated that incoming kindergarteners’ math and literacy skills were higher in 2010 than 1998, but no national studies have examined trends since 2010. This study examines academic skills at kindergarten entry from 2010 and 2017 using data from over 2 million kindergarten students. Results indicate that kindergarteners in 2017 had moderately lower math and reading skills than in 2010, but that inequalities at school entry by race/ethnicity and school poverty level have decreased during this period.

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