Education Secretary Says More Latino Children Should Attend Preschool

Latino children attend preschool in lower numbers than other groups, and this might be the reason there's an achievement gap, according to Education Secretary Arne Duncan. 

"Less than half of Hispanic children attend any kind of preschool -- that's kind of staggering," Duncan said in a press conference on Wednesday, reports "This is the fastest-growing population and a lower-than-average participation rate... You're 5-years-old and you're entering school one to two years behind and you wonder why we have an achievement gap."

Access to preschool education could close that gap by 26 percent, according to a report released last year by The Future of Children, a joint journal of Princeton and Brookings. 

"We can keep trying to play catch-up or we can have an effect on the front end, by leveling the playing field from the beginning," Duncan said.

With limited access and a culture where families are less likely to send their children to early education facilities, Duncan said the challenges are definitely stacked against enrollment, but that these could be overcome. "At the end of the day, parents want the right thing for their kids."