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Raising Pre-K Quality in New York City-A Progressive Entitlement?

by Bruce Fuller & Talia Leibovitz - August 04, 2021

Enthusiasm for free and universal preschool has grown over the past quarter-century. New York City began implementing a pre-K entitlement in 2014, extending publicly funded slots to 70% of all 4-year-old children, then creating new spaces for 3-year-olds. Three independent studies have detailed the racially segregated character of the city’s pre-K program, along with disparities in quality levels observed among sites that benefit more advantaged families. We find, focusing on 1,273 pre-K sites with two rounds of assessments, that observed quality inched upward on average between 2014 and 2019, but quality gains were larger for pre-Ks serving mostly White or Asian-American families. Sites hosting larger shares of Black or Latino children displayed stalled or declining levels of quality on two observational measures. We review city efforts to equalize pre-K quality, along with lessons for how to fairly implement pre-K entitlements.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: August 04, 2021
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 23813, Date Accessed: 8/12/2021 9:16:15 AM

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About the Author
  • Bruce Fuller
    University of California, Berkeley
    BRUCE FULLER, Ph.D., is a professor of education and public policy at University of California, Berkeley and explores the social organization of children’s settings, including families and schools. He is author of Standardized Childhood and When Schools Work (forthcoming, Johns Hopkins).
  • Talia Leibovitz
    University of California, Berkeley
    E-mail Author
    TALIA LEIBOVITZ is a Ph.D. candidate in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research explores the possibilities and limitations of white or privileged parents who organize for educational equity and school desegregation.
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