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State should re-evaluate its investment in early childhood programs

A national assessment on education delivered troubling news for Ohio this week. Not only has the state slipped from 18th last year to 23rd today (after ranking fifth only six years ago), but Education Week’s Quality Counts rankings also exposed an alarming flaw in the state’s education system: Ohio has one of the widest gaps on national test scores between students of poverty and those of higher incomes, The Columbus Dispatch reported Thursday.

In that category, Ohio ranked 43rd in the nation.

We’ve seen these results bear out on a local level. Each year, Ohio Graduation Test scores show wealthier districts in Stark County, like Jackson Local and North Canton, outpacing city school districts where the county’s poverty rates are at their highest (Canton City, Massillon and Alliance). This, of course, is no phenomena.

Most studies prove that students from poor homes aren’t as likely to have as many books in the home or be read to by their parents. Children ages 6 and 7 also aren’t as likely to participate in special lessons or extra-curricular activities, The Washington Post reported last year. This income-based achievement gap can stick with a young student into adulthood, putting them at a disadvantage when they join the workforce…

Online: http://bit.ly/1ndh8lU

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