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Minn. data show early student achievement gap

ST. PAUL— A study released by the state Department of Education shows an achievement gap exists for Minnesota students before they begin elementary school.

Minnesota Public Radio News reports Sunday that the Minnesota Readiness Study finds that children of color and children in poverty are less likely to be considered ready for kindergarten than their white counterparts and those above the poverty line.

The study shows 60 percent of all students were ready for kindergarten. But only 44 percent of Hispanic children were considered ready, compared with 63 percent of white children.

State Education Department spokeswoman Charlene Briner says the disparity is not surprising, and the study shows that opportunities for early childhood education are crucial.

The study measured 5,600 Minnesota students during their first eight weeks of kindergarten in 2010.

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