American Early Childhood: Preventing or Perpetuating Inequity?Skip to content Skip to main navigation
Center for Educational Equity
American Early Childhood: Preventing or Perpetuating Inequity?
Published: 4/8/2009 2:55:00 PM
April 6, 2009
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 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"
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, Center for Educational Equity (formerly Campaign for Educational Equity), Teachers College, Columbia University