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Early Childhood and Diversity in Iowa: Challenges and Opportunities. Setting the Context. Charles Bruner September 26, 2007. Diversity in Iowa: Children Leading the Way. Percent of Population of Color and/or Hispanic by Age. 15.1%. 12.2%. 8.0%. Hispanic population. 2.9%. 1.7%.

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Early childhood and diversity in iowa challenges and opportunities

Early Childhood and Diversity in Iowa:Challenges and Opportunities

Setting the Context

Charles Bruner

September 26, 2007

Diversity in iowa children leading the way
Diversity in Iowa: Children Leading the Way

Percent of Population of Color and/or Hispanic by Age




Hispanic population



Sources: United States Census Bureau, 2005 American Community Survey

The Annual Condition of Education Report, Iowa Department of Education, 2006

Projected 0 17 population growth in iowa 2005 2025
Projected 0-17 Population Growth in Iowa 2005 - 2025

Iowa’s child population is projected to grow by 88,630 over the next two decades:

(Hispanic growth rate: 143.5%; African American growth rate: 37.4%; White non-Hispanic growth rate: 2.1%; and Pacific Islander, Native American or other races growth rate: 73.9%)

Diversity and school readiness critical importance of the early years to school and other success
Diversity and School Readiness: Critical Importance of the Early Years to School and Other Success

Up to half of the gap in achievement scores in school can be attributed to gaps already evident at the time of school entry.

-- Rouse, Brooks-Gunn, & McClanahan, School Readiness: Closing Racial and Ethnic Gaps

While schools can and should be responsible for narrowing the gap between kindergarten and third grade, eliminating the gap requires actions in the earliest learning years ... from birth to school age.

-- Rothstein, Class and Schools

Closing the kindergarten readiness gap is essential not only for addressing education and achievement gaps but for addressing interconnected health gaps, social and economic gaps, and justice system gaps.

-- Charles Bruner (and Iowa African Americans and Prisons report)

School readiness a multi system approach to closing gaps
School Readiness: A Multi-System Approach to Closing Gaps

Early Learning

  • Health: 20%

  • Preschool and Other Early Care and Education: 30%

  • Family and Community: 40%

  • Special Needs: 10%

Health, Mental Health and Nutrition

Family Support

Special Needs/ Early Intervention

source: Early Childhood Systems Working Group

School readiness and diversity issues and opportunities
School Readiness and Diversity: Issues and Opportunities

  • Outreach to ensure engagement in effective services – closing participation gaps

  • Culturally aligned services and expectations – adopting a multi-cultural lens in program and learning standards

  • Culturally diverse workforce – professional development strategies that create a representative and diverse workforce

  • Culturally competent planning and decision-making – constructing diverse tables

Outreach and engagement in effective services
Outreach and Engagement in Effective Services

  • Health care coverage for immigrant children (highest rate of uninsurance in population because of 5-year waiting period under Medicaid and hawk-i)

  • Neighborhood-based strategies that give proper focus to where minorities live (in poorest and least-resourced neighborhoods)

Culturally aligned services and expectations a multi cultural as opposed to dominant culture lens
Culturally Aligned Services and Expectations: A Multi-Cultural as Opposed to Dominant Culture Lens

A culturally diverse workforce that reflects the children served
A Culturally Diverse Workforce that Multi-Cultural as Opposed to Dominant Culture LensReflects the Children Served

Evidence abounds that points to the interactional misfit between poor children of color and their teachers. ... When disparities exist between children’s background (family/cultural values, rearing conditions/expectations) and the culture of the school, children do not make the meaningful connections necessary for academic and social learning.

Teachers need to be better prepared to teach the children of diverse language, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds that come before them. ... Culturally relevant teachers identify and build on children’s strengths and interests and adapt assessment and teaching practices to the cognitive styles and language needs of the class.

-- Aisha Ray, Barbara Bowman, and Jeanine Brownell, Teacher-Child Relationships, Social-Emotional Development, and Student Achievement

Revisiting a key report
Revisiting a Key Report Multi-Cultural as Opposed to Dominant Culture Lens

  • Iowa’s incarceration rate of African Americans ranks in the top five states nationally.

  • Education provides the best long-range opportunity for reducing incarceration rates.

  • The state should increase its support for early childhood education.

  • The state should encourage school districts to improve communication between school officials and African American families and relationships with community-based resources in African-American neighborhoods.

Inclusion in planning and decision making
Inclusion in Planning and Decision-Making Multi-Cultural as Opposed to Dominant Culture Lens

Conference puts Iowa in the Forefront

in Raising these Issues!