Only 15% of the disadvantaged California children who would benefit most from strong preschools are actually enrolled in the best programs, according to a new RAND report released Wednesday. "We can't close the achievement gap unless we close the preparedness gap before kindergarten," said Debra Watkins, founder of the California Alliance of African American Educators. "As a former high school teacher of nearly 30 years, I certainly see what happens [to students who] do not have high quality preschool by the time they reach high school, where we have a dropout problem."

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