CDF works to ensure every child has a Head Start and a Fair Start and attends a warm, welcoming and productive school that prepares the child for post-secondary education, careers and 21st century citizenship. Since our first report in 1974, Children Out of School in America, we have worked to ensure children are not excluded from school because of their family income, race, disability or home language. We advocate for policies that provide fair education funding, support positive and just school climates, hold all children to high expectations, and provide them appropriate supports to meet those expectations. Unfortunately, across almost every indicator of school success, we see significant gaps between how students are performing, and where they need to be. For children of color, children with disabilities, and children who are poor, these gaps are even more dramatic. Education should be the great equalizer, leveling the playing field for all children. Too often, however, our system of education reinforces instead of removes barriers created by poverty and racism.