Students in a pre-K class at Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School. Photo: Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post via Getty Images.

Universal preschool would help close the math and reading gaps between white and black children who are approaching kindergarten, an analysis from the National Institute for Early Education Research shows.

The big picture: Schools with high quality learning programs have resources to ensure a child is on track in age-appropriate learning activities. These programs have systemically left black children behind due to high tuition and waiting lists.

  • Black children are on average nearly nine months behind in math and almost seven months behind in reading compared to their white non-Hispanic peers, the report notes.

Why it matters: Math and reading skills at kindergarten entry are indicators of later school success, and children who enter kindergarten behind are unlikely to catch up.

What they're saying: Universal pre-K would practically eliminate the reading skills gap for kindergarten and cut the math skills gap almost in half — from about nine months to five months.

  • Only Florida, Vermont and Washington, D.C., offer full universal pre-K, according to the Education Commission of the States.
  • Some cities, such as San Antonio, have expanded pre-K programs for eligible families.

Yes, but: Economic turmoil often leads to less spending in public schools, with lower standards and decreased enrollment. And right now, states are absorbing massive public health costs and economic blowback from the pandemic.

The bottom line, per Rutgers University researchers: "Providing all Black children access to high-quality preschool will not be a small task. It will require raising quality standards, expanding enrollment, and, of course, more funding."

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Elizabeth Warren: "I love a good plan, and Joe Biden has really good plans"

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) promoted universal child care during her Wednesday evening address to the Democratic National Convention.

Why it matters: Warren argued that child care should be part of the "basic infrastructure of this nation," adding that Biden and Harris "will make high-quality child care affordable for every family, make preschool universal and raise the wages of every childcare worker."

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 32,471,119 — Total deaths: 987,593 — Total recoveries: 22,374,557Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 7,032,524 — Total deaths: 203,657 — Total recoveries: 2,727,335 — Total tests: 99,483,712Map.
  3. States: "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  5. Business: Coronavirus has made airports happier places The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  6. Education: Where bringing students back to school is most risky.
Mike Allen, author of AM
10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden pushes unity message in new TV wave

A fresh Joe Biden ad, "New Start," signals an effort by his campaign to make unity a central theme, underscoring a new passage in his stump speech that says he won't be a president just for Democrats but for all Americans.

What he's saying: The ad — which began Friday night, and is a follow-up to "Fresh Start" — draws from a Biden speech earlier in the week in Manitowoc, Wisconsin: