The authors examined predictors of teachers' ratings of academic competence of 105 kindergarten children from low-income families. Teachers rated target children's expected competence in literacy and math and completed questions about their perceptions of congruence-dissonance between themselves and the child's parents regarding education-related values. Independent examiners assessed children's literacy and math skills. Teachers' instructional styles were observed and rated along dimensions of curriculum-centered and student-centered practices. Controlling for children's skills and socioeconomic status, teachers rated children as less competent when they perceived value differences with parents. These patterns were stronger for teachers who exhibited curriculum-centered, rather than student-centered, practices. The findings suggest a mechanism by which some children from low-income families enter a path of diminished expectations.