The NCSL Blog


By Adrienne Fischer

Research demonstrates that low-income and African-American and Hispanic students enter kindergarten far behind their peers in math and literacy skills.

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How can states narrow the gap? On July 15-16, members of NCSL’s Education and Children and Families Programs hosted a site visit and meeting for legislators and staff focused on strategies to engage more early learners and parents in learning opportunities to  narrow opportunity gaps in the early years.

Participants attended sessions on the following topics:

Denver’s Clayton Early Learning hosted the group for a presentation and tour of their facilities. The center uses evidence-based practices to inform curriculum development, family engagement and program evaluation. Attendees also heard from staff at Bright by Three, a locally-based nonprofit using text messaging to connect parents with relevant, reliable information on child development, parenting strategies and community resources.

Attendees included members of NCSL’s Early Learning Opportunity Gaps Advisory Group, a bipartisan group of legislators that provides expertise and guidance on state strategies to address achievement disparities in the preschool through third grade years.

For more information on early learning policies and research, contact NCSL staff or visit the Education Program’s Early Learning web resources.

Adrienne Fischer is a Policy Associate in NCSL’s Education Program.

Email Adrienne.

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About the NCSL Blog

This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.