June 02, 2005

Head Start on School

A study on when kids are most likely to get kicked out of school came up with some results that would seem to provide plenty of ammunition to public school supporters, emphasis mine:

... A new study finds pre-K students are expelled three times more often than K-12 children in general.

... The survey by scientists at Yale University is based on data from all 40 states that fund pre-K programs, which serve 3- and 4-year-olds.

"No one wants to hear about three– and four–year–olds being expelled from preschool, but it happens rather frequently," said study leader Walter Gilliam of the Yale Child Study Center.

Though rates of expulsion vary by state, pre-K expulsions exceed those in K–12 classes in all but three states.

The lowest expulsion rates are in public schools and Head Start programs, according to a statement released by Yale. The highest rates are in faith–affiliated centers, for–profit childcare and other community–based settings. Students were expelled twice as often in classes where teachers had no access to a psychologist or psychiatrist. ...

The article goes on to say that boys and African American students are the most likely to be expelled. How will the people who want to dismantle public education explain this away?

Posted by natasha at June 2, 2005 12:42 AM | Education | Technorati links |

One thing to watch here for is the bugaboo "standards" argument. Someone is bound to say that the faith-based outfits have "tougher standards" and thus will put up with less guff (from "those" kinds of families, of course, being implied).

This argument ignores the simple fact that these kids have to go somewhere for Kindergarten eventually. In my daughter's school district, almost 20% of all male 5 year olds are held back after their first year of Kindergarten. Why? Because they aren't considered emotionally ready for 1st Grade yet. This school district is typically lauded as one of the top ten in the state, if not often one of the top five. It's choc-a-bloc full of folks with incomes you and I only dream of seeing someday, the district is well funded, and it ahs one of the best volunteer rates of any district in the state of Washington, surpassing even some privat schools (where it's often made all but mandatory of the parents putting their children there).

What do they think the need will be to deal with this in districts that are more the norm than the exception?

Posted by: palamedes at June 2, 2005 09:00 AM