Join the GOOGLE +Rubber Room Community

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Racial Disparities Start in Pre-Kindergarten Says the Century Foundation in a New Report

Racial segregation in New York City is rampant. In some places you cannot see it immediately, but it is there. Kids who are African-American or Hispanic, kids with parents who do not speak English well, and families who live in predominantly minority neighborhoods do not get the Gifted and Talented Programs nor the service providers for special needs that the white and Asian populations in NYC get.

This racial divide from pre-k up the line through high school prevents minority children from getting into the specialized high schools. This is the cancer which will not be fixed by changing the test, the SSHAT. The systemic discrimination must be addressed head on, and all the politicians who ask us to read their lips are doing nothing about it but talking. Action is needed, without retaliation.

I'm not sure that the NYC Department of Education knows how to do this:

The Wide-spread Racial Disparities At the NYC Department of Education and Harlem Public Schools v Charter Schools

We have not seen either Carmen, Mike, or Bill doing anything to stop these disparities.

UFT President Mike Mulgrew, Chancellor Carmen Farina, and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio

Betsy Combier
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, NYC Public Voice
Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials

At Little Star of Broome Street Early Childhood Center in Manhattan, which is operated by the Chinese-American Planning Council, 80 percent of the students are Asian, said Mary Cheng, the early childhood program director. CreditHiroko Masuike/The New York Times
Racial Segregation in New York Schools Starts With Pre-K, Report Finds
SEPT. 20, 2016
From elementary through high school, New York City children tend to go to school with others similar to themselves, in one of the country’s most racially segregated systems.
Turns out that racial segregation is an issue in prekindergarten, too.
A report by the Century Foundation, a public policy research group, which will be released on Tuesday, found that in 2014-15, the first year of the major prekindergarten expansion pushed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, prekindergarten classrooms tended to be more racially homogeneous than even the city’s public kindergartens.
In half of all prekindergarten classrooms, over 70 percent of students belonged to a single racial or ethnic group, despite the fact that the overall program was diverse, with no racial or ethnic majority. In one out of every six pre-K classrooms, more than 90 percent of the students were of the same race or ethnicity. In kindergarten, that is true in one out of every eight classrooms.
“As much as we struggle with segregation in K-12 schools, early education is really behind,” said Halley Potter, a fellow at the Century Foundation and the author of the report.
So how did this segregation come about? Ms. Potter found that prekindergarten classrooms in charter schools and regular district schools had levels of diversity similar to that found in their kindergartens.
But 60 percent of prekindergarten students that year were enrolled at community-based organizations, and those classrooms tended to be more racially homogeneous than public kindergartens.
Among community-based pre-K centers, there are two main types. One is funded by the city’s Administration for Children’s Services and typically serves students from low-income families. Those sites also often provide child care beyond the universal prekindergarten day, which lasts for six hour and 20 minutes.
Seats at other kinds of community-based sites also tend to go to particular groups. Some organizations give priority to children who were previously enrolled as 3-year-olds, in programs their parents may have paid for, or who might have siblings enrolled at the center. They may give priority to children who speak a particular language, or to those whose families receive social services from the organization. In many cases, they have established relationships within particular communities.
Administration for Children’s Services classrooms were more likely to have a majority of black or Hispanic students, the report found. Prekindergarten programs in other community-based organizations were more likely to have a heavily white or Asian student population.
At Little Star of Broome Street Early Childhood Center in Manhattan, which is operated by the Chinese-American Planning Council, for example, 80 percent of the students are Asian, said Mary Cheng, the early childhood program director; parents tend to find out about the center by word of mouth. She said a more diverse student body would be beneficial not just for the children in her care, but also for their families.
“To be accepting and tolerant of each other, you have to be a mixture,” Ms. Cheng said. “To learn that there are things that are similar” across cultures, she added, “that’s something really important for kids to learn, and for adults.”
Ms. Potter says emphasis on racial diversity needs to be built into the application process.
“What we see here is a reflection of the research around school choice,” she said. “That is, if it’s just choice, without diversity really built into the design of the program, it tends to have the effect of increasing segregation in schools and classrooms.”
“These pre-K centers did not appear from scratch, most already existed,” she continued, and they came with established enrollment patterns.
Josh Wallack, deputy chancellor of strategy and policy at the city’s Education Department, said that during the first year of universal pre-K expansion, there were different application processes for district schools and community-based organizations. In subsequent years, however — this is Year 3 — there was a single, unified application for the whole system, which Mr. Wallack said might have an impact on classroom diversity.
“Prior to that, early learning centers had to do their own recruitment, and tended to reach out in their immediate surroundings,” he said. The new system “put them on the same playing field as district schools, part of a citywide application process.”
He added that classroom diversity “ is a priority for the Department of Education and this administration, because we believe children in diverse classrooms learn from each other, and learn better.”
There have been small-scale efforts in recent years to address the city’s enormous segregation issue. For example, the Education Department has begun allowing individual schools to mold admissions policies that would create a more diverse student body, by doing things like setting aside seats for students who are learning English. A couple of districts are also discussing ways of creating more socioeconomically balanced schools in their areas. But critics have called these efforts too incremental for such a far-reaching and entrenched problem.
Despite the challenges, Ms. Potter, the report’s author, said she was hopeful.
“You have to keep in mind,” she said, “this was the first year of universal pre-K, coming out of a system where most kids were either in private pay or means-tested programs; there weren’t that many seats that were available to kids of all backgrounds. Making that step to universal is huge.”
“I think you need to keep in mind that that’s where we’re moving from,” she added. “Where I’d be disappointed would be if we don’t see any shifting in these patterns.”

No comments: