Gender Differences in the Impact of North Carolina’s Early Care and Education Initiatives on Student Outcomes in Elementary School
Based on growing evidence of the long-term benefits of enriched early childhood experiences, we evaluate the potential for addressing gender disparities in elementary school through early care and education programs. Specifically, we explore the community-wide effects of two statewide initiatives in North Carolina on gender differences in academic outcomes in Grades 3 to 5, using administrative student data and information on variation in program availability across counties and over time. We find that although investments in early care and education programs produce significant gains in math and reading skills on average for all children, boys experience larger program-related gains than girls. Moreover, the greatest gains among boys emerge for those from less advantaged families. In contrast, the large and statistically significant reductions in special education placements induced by these early childhood program do not differ consistently by gender.
Muschkin, CG; Ladd, HF; Dodge, KA; Bai, Y
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