This report examines the role of family background and parental involvement in determining early learning outcomes of children in kindergarten and reveals that students who attended more structured preschool settings, like Head Start or other center-based programs, performed better on early reading and math tests. The study also suggests that to a large extent, a child’s language and literacy development are shaped within the home as opposed to in a formal school setting and are strongly influenced by the parent’s level of education and the number of siblings in the household.
The economy has become the dominant issue in the 2008 presidential race, and rightly so. With foreclosures surging, consumer prices on the rise (4.9% between September 2007 and September 2008) and a loss of 760,000 jobs between January and September 2008, the future of this nation’s economy will depend largely upon the policies set in place by the next president of the United States. Though recovery of the U.S. economy will require a careful balancing of national goals and priorities, a well-informed electorate will prove to be the first line of defense against the weakening U.S.