whether anyone can explain it or not, something associated with differences between schools does appear to explain student outcomes. But this research has also shown that in the context of the overall variability in child outcomes, schools still pack a weaker punch than many imagine. Even in the most sophisticated models, differences in family background, students’ intelligence, temperaments, and childhood experiences explained the majority...of children’s trajectories across the school years.

Silicon Valley tends to mirror the rest of the United States when it comes to early-education inequality. About three quarters of 3-year-olds from poorer families aren’t enrolled in preschool, but a majority of their wealthier counterparts are ... While the return on investment of prekindergarten education is widely debated, researchers tend to agree that high-quality early-learning experiences are most beneficial for children who are poor or speak English as a second language.

The push for universal pre-K in Tennessee was dealt a blow by the Peabody study ... Those who got the extra year did enter kindergarten more prepared. But by first grade, there was no difference. At the end of first grade, co-investigator Dale Farran says the pre-K students were measurably less excited about school ... By third grade, the pre-K students were being outperformed by those who got the later start ... the state spent $86 million this year on pre-K.

the percentage of kindergarten teachers who reported that they agreed (or strongly agreed) that children should learn to read in kindergarten greatly increased from 30 percent in 1998 to 80 percent in 2010 ... More than 40 states—including Arkansas—have adopted the Common Core State Standards, which contain dozens of reading expectations for kindergartners.