Students who entered kindergarten as proficient in English, regardless of their home language, scored higher on the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998–99 (ECLS-K) eighth-grade reading, math, and science assessments than language minority students who became proficient in English after starting kindergarten. This is one finding of the analyses reported in Reading, Mathematics, and Science Achievement of Language-Minority Students In Grade 8, an Issue Brief released today by the National Center for Education Statistics.
The ECLS-K tracked the educational experiences of a nationally representative sample of children who were in kindergarten in the 1998–99 school year. The analyses in this Issue Brief present a picture of students’ achievement at the end of the study by focusing on students’ scores on the standardized assessments that were administered in the spring of 2007, when most students were in grade 8. Students are categorized into four groups according to language background and English language proficiency. Additionally, assessment scores are reported by three background characteristics—students’ race/ethnicity, poverty status, and mother’s education—that have been found to be related to achievement.
• Students who entered kindergarten as proficient in English, regardless of their home language, scored higher on the ECLS-K eighth-grade reading, math, and science assessments than language minority students who became proficient in English after starting kindergarten.
• Non-Hispanic language-minority students who were English proficient either when they started or when they completed kindergarten scored higher than their Hispanic peers in reading, math, and science in grade 8.
• Regardless of home language or English proficiency, those students with the most highly educated mothers generally had the highest scores in all three subjects, while those students with the least educated mothers generally had the lowest scores.