Using data from a Midwest project, this study examines malleable factors associated with the reduction of language, achievement, and social-emotional development gaps among Black, Latine, and White children at the end of kindergarten. Gaps at the end of kindergarten between Latine and White children in expressive language, and between Black and Latine children in teacher-reported problem behaviors, remained after controlling for pre-kindergarten attendance and skills, and child and family characteristics. The home-school connection was associated with reducing the gap between Black and Latine children in teacher-rated problem behaviors after the inclusion of all malleable factors. Parenting practices, home-school connection, and classroom environments were not associated with reducing Latine-White gaps in expressive language. These findings highlight that achievement gaps should not be solely attributed to children; they start before kindergarten and underscore the importance of intervening early and strengthening the home-school connection for children from minoritized groups.
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