April 14, 2020
To approach education through the lens of equity is to acknowledge the disenfranchisement and dicrimination faced by children, families, and teachers, and to create schools and systems that eradicate barriers to success, empower children and families, and inspire a more just society.
The current fragmented landscape excludes 54 percent of four-year-olds and 84 percent of three-year-olds from state pre-K programs and Head Start. Roughly 79 percent of eligible Black children, 92 percent of eligible Latinx children, and 95 percent of eligible Asian children under 13 years old lack access to child care subsidies. For dual language learners (DLLs), a minority of states require general education teachers to receive DLL specific training, wide gaps in data around DLLs’ access to high-quality early learning exist, and access to bilingual education is uneven. The current approach to early education also segregates children by family income and race, enrolls only one percent of Latinx and four percent of Black three- and four-year-old children in high-quality state pre-K settings, and disproportionately disenfranchises students of color, especially Black boys, through punitive discipline practices.
Equitable education systems demand culturally responsive teaching, developmentally appropriate practices, accomodations that meet students’ needs, and the voices of families, educators, and children elevated in policy conversations. New America’s Early & Elementary Education team promotes policies at all levels that create equitable systems for children and families. Below you’ll find blog posts, reports, and events that lay forth recommendations to achieve this vision.