The 74 features the Children’s Equity Project’s Start with Equity report, which offers a policy agenda that includes a ban on punishments that exclude children from classrooms, more early-childhood mental health services, full funding for special education, incentives for including children with disabilities in regular classrooms, and assessment tools in multiple languages.
Start with Equity: From the Early Years to the Early Grades highlights the grave inequities that have long pervaded the education system and affect the lives of millions of children from historically marginalized communities, using the lens of three policy areas: disproportionate application of harsh discipline practices; lack of inclusion of students with disabilities in general classrooms; and inequitable and inadequate access to dual language programming. In each policy area, the 140-page report includes analyses of existing data, a review of the latest research and concrete recommendations for policymakers at the federal, state and local levels.
Shantel Meek, founding director of the Children's Equity Project at Arizona State University, partnered with Roy Austin Jr., a former deputy assistant to the president and policy lead on criminal justice reform in the Obama administration, to examine and address the criminalization of black children in early education.
As the keynote speaker of the Sharing a Vision Conference, president and CEO of the Institute for Racial Equity and Excellence and Children's Equity Project partner, Dr. Rosemarie Allen spoke about implicit biases - and how they can address them.
Along with other experts and educators, Shantel Meek, founding director of the Children's Equity Project at Arizona State University, weighed in on the topic of chronic stress affecting a child's learning at school. She said, "When we think about early childhood development, what's the number one thing that we think is critical to healthy development? Securely attached relationships. It's this notion of dependability of 'I'm going to cry and I trust you to be there to meet my needs.'"
Recent, sudden changes to U.S. immigration policies risk, she explained, "taking away that trust, that security that kids have in their primary caregiver. We're fundamentally messing with the social-emotional foundation of these kids ... It's like we're intentionally causing trauma."
Image credit: People hold candles during a candlelight vigil at the Immanuel Church for victims of a shooting that left a total of 22 people dead at the Cielo Vista Mall WalMart in El Paso, Texas, Aug 5, 2019. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)
Conor Williams, a Children's Equity Project partner, wrote an article on Washington's universal public prekindergarten for 3- and 4-year-olds and how this creates a ripple effect that helps K-12 students too.
Conor Williams, a Children's Equity Project partner, wrote an article on school choice and the unique position charter schools have been placed in due to politics.
Image credit: Devyn Pittorf teaching a kindergarten class at Hiawatha Leadership Academy-Morris Park elementary school in the Morris Park area of Minneapolis.CreditCreditJoe Dickie/Big World Films, via Hiawatha Academies