California’s Children Fall Behind Before They Start School, and Some Never Catch Up: Study

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Students arrive at Baldwin Hills Elementary School on Aug. 14, 2018, for the first day of class for the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation's second-largest school system. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Students arrive at Baldwin Hills Elementary School on Aug. 14, 2018, for the first day of class for the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation's second-largest school system. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

When students enter school in California, they learn at a pace on par with — if not better than — those in other states.

The problem is that they arrive far behind their national peers, and they never catch up.

This conclusion, from a sweeping research project aimed at charting future education policy, focuses new attention on what is often overlooked: infant and toddler care, parenting skills, preschool and early childhood education.

The researchers argue that if California wants to improve student achievement in schools, it has to start much earlier so that children are prepared when they show up for kindergarten.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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