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American Early Childhood: Preventing or Perpetuating Inequity?

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Published: 4/8/2021 2:55:00 PM

April 6, 2022
Equity in Education Forum Series, Spring 2009
Teachers College, Columbia University

"Unlike merely two decades ago, early childhood education is currently regarded as a magical panacea that prepares young children for school and life, equalizes opportunity, and prevents welfare dependence, incarceration, teenage pregnancy, and school dropout. While a veritable aura of success encases contemporary early childhood education, few analyses have scrutinized these accolades and examined the realities. This paper dons an equity lens and addresses ’s contemporary commitments to all its young children.  It discusses early childhood education’s successes as well as its failures, noting that children’s access to, and experiences in, early childhood settings vary dramatically depending on where children live, how much money their parents have, and the color of their skin. The paper suggests that while early childhood education has the proven potential to prevent educational inequity, if not dramatically improved, it will do the reverse and perpetuate it." - Excerpt from "American Early Childhood Education"


Program Agenda


Sharon Lynn Kagan, Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Early Childhood and Family Policy, Teachers College, Columbia University


Clive Belfield, Associate Professor, Queens College, City University of New York

Nancy Kolben, Executive Director, Child Care, Inc.


Michael Rebell, Executive Director, Campaign for Educational Equity, Teachers College, Columbia University