Tuesday Reading List: Quality Matters in Childcare, Equivocation on Discrimination, and People Who Shouldn't Be Teaching

Hayley Glatter of The Atlantic looked at whether program quality matters in childcare:

Attending a low-quality childcare program has deleterious effects on boys, so much so that the children would have been better off staying home. According to a new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research co-authored by the economists Jorge Luis Garcia, James Heckman, and Anna Ziff of the University of Chicago, it is the quality of the childcare, not simply the presence of it, that matters. Relying on data from childcare programs serving disadvantaged children in North Carolina, the researchers found a gender gap exists in the long-term outcomes of preschool and that boys are more vulnerable than girls if exposed to facilities that aren’t meeting high standards.

Policymakers often construe equity and quality as competing goals. As states expand access to early childhood education, we should be as vigilant about quality as we are about access.

In other news, Matt Barnum of Chalkbeat followed up on Betsy DeVos's questionable comments about discrimination from last week:

Betsy DeVos drew incredulous reactions this week when she said she would let states decide on the rules for voucher programs vying for federal money — including whether schools that discriminate against LGBT students could participate. But the education secretary’s position isn’t out of the mainstream among voucher supporters, or out of step with how private school choice programs work across the country. For instance, Robert Enlow of the Indianapolis-based EdChoice, a group that advocates for vouchers, emphasized that his group does not support discrimination but declined to take a position on whether private schools that receive public funds should be prohibited from discriminating based on sexual orientation.

It's possible to be agnostic about whether the private or public sector is best positioned to create quality schools. I happen to think that a robust public schooling system is essential to knitting together a sustainable democratic republic, but I know plenty of people who trust the private sector more, and not for evil or mischievous reasons. That said, I do NOT think it's possible to be agnostic on this question of discrimination. Anyone who is sentient right now can see that hate groups - particularly White supremacists - are feeling more confident in expressing their hate publicly. Given that, we must be as forceful as possible in protecting people from discrimination on the basis of their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or other facets of their identities.

Speaking of identity, here's a great example of how NOT to cultivate a positive sense of identity among children, from the team at Blavity:

Just a few days ago, we covered a student, Lizeth Villanueva, who received a "Most Likely To Be A Terrorist" award. As awful and insensitive as that was, it wasn't the only insensitive and flat out rude superlative given out by the same teacher. Sydney Caesar, a student at Anthony Aguirre Junior High School in Texas, received an award that stated she was “Most Likely to Blend in With White People,” from her college-prep teacher Stacey Lockett. 

If I have to explain to you why this is not okay, you shouldn't be a teacher ... ergo the person who gave these awards should not be teaching children.

Finally today, on a lighter note, Michael Harriott is in Adequate Man giving White people advice on how attending Black cookouts:  

At a black cookout (yes, if there’s more than seven black people there, the name automatically changes from “barbecue” to a “cookout”), only the meat and the grill is supplied by the host. Everything else is brought by attendees—and no, this is not “potluck.” Black people don’t do potlucks. Potluck dinners are for Caucasian bible-study meetings where one can bring store-bought dishes. Here, you either show up with a homemade dish, or they’re gonna look at you funny. And please don’t try no new shit like potato salad with raisins or vegetarian shish kabobs. If you can’t cook, or you don’t have all the required black seasonings, just bring some cups and napkins. 

May your summer be blessed with many opportunities to act on this advice. Have a great day!