The Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) released a study that for the first time included data from all 97,000 of the nation’s public schools, representing 49 million students. The report revealed undeniable racial disparities in school discipline policies, but even more surprisingly, that those disparities began in preschool. Here are some of the key findings:
- Almost 40% of districts do not offer preschool
- When available, it is mostly part-day
- Barely half of the offered public district programs are available to all students within the district
- African-American students represent 18% of preschool enrollment but 42% of preschool students suspended once and 48% of preschool students suspended more than once
As a result, the CRDC is seeking an aggressive approach in closing the opportunity gaps through concentrating on effective school discipline practices and positive school climates. Recognizing that too many boys are falling behind in school, Starting Point for Child Care & Early Education initiated the Boys' Project to help reverse these troubling trends in their region of Greater Cleveland. What their research found was that our early childhood classrooms simply are not designed for the ways boys learn or for the unique needs of at-risk African American and Hispanic/Latino boys. We need to take a fresh look at our curricula, classrooms, and teaching strategies. Written with the needs of preschool boys in mind with a section specifically tailored to teaching African American boys, Wired to Move, a book by Ruth Hanford Morhard for Starting Point for Child Care & Early Education, offers creative strategies to effectively engage boys in an early learning setting.
In Wired to Move, Starting Point shares resources aimed at helping teachers transform early childhood classrooms from boy-averse to boy-friendly. These classroom engagement strategies aim to raise awareness and understanding of how boys learn and behave so that educators can start boys on the path to success in school and in life. To learn more about the CRDC study or Wired to Move, find more resources here: