The Quest for Equity in Education

August 25, 2020


The power of education to level the playing field has long been an American article of faith.

Perry Preschool Project

This project targeted African American children ages 3-4 years old with below average IQs from poor families. Teachers taught problem-solving techniques and conducted home visits with families.

Head Start Program

This program focused on improving school readiness for low-income children through health, education and nutritional services.

Abecedarian Project

This project targeted infants of teen moms, who were high-school dropouts from low-income families. Teachers provided enriched caregiving and individualized instruction.

Children who attended these preschool programs were more likely to:

  • Graduate from high school, attend college and seek a training certification or license
  • Exhibit enhanced self-control, social behavior and self-esteem
  • Have a healthier lifestyle, maintain a full-time job and pay taxes
  • Avoid becoming teen parents, being involved in crime, smoking and using drugs
  • Own a home, stay married and provide a stable household for their children
  • Follow positive parenting practices, such as reading aloud to children, teaching numbers and letters, playing games and showing affection

“For every $1 we spend in these early childhood programs, we get $10 back in reduced welfare rolls, fewer health care costs and less crime.” — President Barack Obama

Building A Firm Foundation

Key criteria for developing early childhood programs for children ages birth to five:

  • Focus on both cognitive and character development
  • Consider the impact of character skills on school achievement and adult outcomes
  • Develop effective ways to measure character and cognitive skills
  • Insist on qualified early educators who can work well with children and families in both home and school settings

The Home Visitor CDA® Trains Teachers to Work Productively with Families by:

  • Promoting health and safety in the home environment
  • Enhancing parents’ skills to advance children’s physical and intellectual development
  • Promoting parents’ use of positive ways to support children’s social and emotional development
  • Understanding family systems and development
  • Managing an effective home visitor program operation
  • Maintaining a commitment to professionalism
  • Working across the child welfare continuum
  • Understanding principles of child development and learning

Equity in education “means supporting children’s belief in their ability to learn and teaching them to effectively navigate the rules and demands of schools as an institution of the larger society.” — Louise Derman-Sparks, Perry Preschool Project Teacher


See our white paper, Standing Up for the Best in the American Dream: The Poverty Cycle and the Impact of Pre-K, for more information on equity in education. Council for Professional Recognition. Washington, D.C, February 2020.

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