A Better Start Why Classroom Diversity Matters in Early Education

April 2015
Jeanne L. Reid and Sharon Lynn Kagan

Now that early childhood education (ECE) has penetrated the policy agenda and its
contributions are clear, it is time to shift the discourse from the why to one that addresses the how
of early childhood education. More specifically, it is time to focus next-generation discourse on the
parameters needed to mount early education programs that are of sufficient quality to produce
improvements in children’s learning and development, of sufficient sustainability to ensure that early
education becomes a durable feature of the policy landscape, and of sufficient equity to reduce the
widening learning and achievement gaps that characterize American education. In other words, it is
time to focus on how to achieve excellent, sustained, and equitable early childhood efforts.

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