Children growing up poor have lower academic outcomes than their well-off peers. They are more likely to experience learning disabilities and developmental delays. Poor children score between 6 and 13 points lower on various standardized tests of IQ, verbal ability, and achievement.Poverty also has a negative impact on high-school graduation and college attendance. Children raised by a single parent, children who have more than two siblings, children by teenaged parents and children raised in ghetto neighbourhoods are also at risk of low academical achievement.
Numerous programs have been created in order to help children and youth at risk reach their full potential. Among the American programs of compensary education are Head Start, the Chicago Child-Parent Center Program, High/Scope, Abecedarian Early Intervention Project, SMART (Start Making a Reader Today), the Milwaukee Project and the 21st Century Community Learning Centers. In Germany and Great Britain Early Excellence Centres are widely discussed programs of compensatory education. Not all of that programs have been proven to be effective. However scientist were able to identify social programms that work.Among these are the High/Scope Perry Preschool Project, the Abecedarian Project and SMART
Jensenism is the belief that an individual's IQ is largely due to heredity, including racial heritage. Arthur Jensen hold the opinion that compensatory education does not work. In their controversial book The Bell Curve, Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray (author) put forth the same opinion. The book has been critisized by many scientists.