Monday, February 1, 2010

The preschoolization of K-3

I have pissed and moaned about the elementary-schoolization of preschool, by which I mean the tendency of elementary school teachers and administrators to want to make preschool more like kindergarten, which is more and more like first grade, or even second grade.

Well there's some pushback. This report from Linda Jacobson at the New America Foundation says K-3 could benefit by learning something about preschoolers and applying it to K-3 kids. Hear, hear!

It has some interesting numbers I would not have guessed and some that don't make sense together.
  •  53% of California 3- and 4-year-olds are eligible for Title 5 programs.
  • Of those eligible kids, 53% of 4s and 25% of 3s were enrolled in subsidized programs.
  • Calfornia serves12% of its 4 year olds in state Pre-K.
    (This is one of the numbers that doesn't make sense; 53% of 53% is about a quarter, not about an eighth. Unless they mean only State Preschool and do not include CCTR programs, which makes it misleading.)
Of kids 8 and under in California:
    • 53% Hispanic
    • 28% non-Hispanic white
    • 10% Asian
    • 5% Black
I'm not really sure about this last one. I just checked some data I recently gathered from my local area association of governments and found that 43% of kids 0-9 in my town are Hispanic.

If 53% of all kids in California are income-eligible for Title 5, tautologically that means 53% are in families with less than 75% of the state median income, which means that on the order of 2/3 of preschool kids are in families in the lower half of incomes. Families with little kids average poorer than families without little kids.

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