Yale Researcher Addresses Preschool Expulsions, Suspensions

Posted on February 3, 2017

In his 2016 Yale Child Study Center research brief looking at implicit biases in preschool expulsions and suspensions, Walter S. Gilliam, Ph.D. wrote that the loss of an early educational placement or time in care could directly undermine a child’s access to future educational opportunities.

Calling it the “push out” phenomenon, the noted scholar and researcher from the Yale University Child Study Center described it as an issue of growing concern in the early childhood education field in general, especially given the disproportionate rate of early childhood expulsions for boys, Blacks, and particularly Black boys. 
"Head Start is leading the way in eliminating costly preschool expulsions and suspensions,” said Gilliam, in a nod to the Congressionally approved Performance Standards that starting rolling out in recent months. Gilliam will be sharing his insights and expertise with the Michigan Head Start Association when members meet March 1-3 during the association’s Annual Early Childhood Training Conference at Troy’s Somerset Inn. 
“I'm looking forward to speaking with the Michigan Head Start Association about the work ahead as we all strive to create a more equitable world for our babies, families, and those who care for them." 
Gilliam also serves as psychology director for the Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy at the Yale School of Medicine.
“This (issue) is particularly concerning as Black children make up only 19 percent of preschool enrollment, but comprise 47 percent of preschoolers suspended one or more times,” he wrote.  “Similarly, boys are three times as likely as girls to be suspended one or more times.”
New Head Start Performance Standards, a topic of keen interest at this year’s gathering, recently began taking effect and include attention to the disproportionate number of children of color and boys impacted by expulsions and suspension as outlined in Gilliam’s research.
The new standards are part of the largest overhaul of Head Start in a generation and tighten up the practice of removing children from early childhood settings for disturbing behaviors. Instead, the standards create expectations for Head Start educators to develop new responses for dealing with challenging behaviors, a move that not only ensures young children don’t miss out on early learning opportunities but sets them up for academic success when they enter school.
Gilliam is a highly regarded consultant to state and federal decision makers in the United States and world-wide.  He co-authored the award-winning book, “A Vision of Universal Preschool Education.”
“This year’s annual conference promises to offer concentrated information sharing and an array of skill-building prospects,” said MHSA Executive Director Robin J. Bozek.  “It’s an important event for our members because of the opportunity to become re-energized in their professional development and in this critical work.”
This year marks MHSA’s 26th annual conference which attracts grantees – those who operate Early Head Start programs for children 0 to 3 and Head Start programs for 3 and 4 year olds – from across Michigan. There are 127 programs in Michigan serving 35,000 children and pregnant woman.
Besides Gilliam, the program includes more than 30 break-out sessions on a variety of topics ranging from trauma-informed practices, parent engagement, classroom management, preschool health screenings and more.
Click here to access the program book with descriptions for each educational session. http://michheadstart.org/sites/default/files/u6/Annual%20Conference-Session%20Descriptions.pdf
Click here to register today!  http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07eddit8jw99309f3d&llr=hvzhj8kab

Calling it the “push out” phenomenon, the noted scholar and researcher from the Yale University Child Study Center described it as an issue of growing concern in the early childhood education field in general, especially given the disproportionate rate of early childhood expulsions for boys, Blacks, and particularly Black boys. 

"Head Start is leading the way in eliminating costly preschool expulsions and suspensions,” said Gilliam, in a nod to the Congressionally approved Performance Standards that starting rolling out in recent months. Gilliam will be sharing his insights and expertise with the Michigan Head Start Association when members meet March 1-3 during the association’s Annual Early Childhood Training Conference at Troy’s Somerset Inn. 

“I'm looking forward to speaking with the Michigan Head Start Association about the work ahead as we all strive to create a more equitable world for our babies, families, and those who care for them." 

Gilliam also serves as psychology director for the Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy at the Yale School of Medicine.

“This (issue) is particularly concerning as Black children make up only 19 percent of preschool enrollment, but comprise 47 percent of preschoolers suspended one or more times,” he wrote.  “Similarly, boys are three times as likely as girls to be suspended one or more times.”

New Head Start Performance Standards, a topic of keen interest at this year’s gathering, recently began taking effect and include attention to the disproportionate number of children of color and boys impacted by expulsions and suspension as outlined in Gilliam’s research.

The new standards are part of the largest overhaul of Head Start in a generation and tighten up the practice of removing children from early childhood settings for disturbing behaviors. Instead, the standards create expectations for Head Start educators to develop new responses for dealing with challenging behaviors, a move that not only ensures young children don’t miss out on early learning opportunities but sets them up for academic success when they enter school.

Gilliam is a highly regarded consultant to state and federal decision makers in the United States and world-wide.  He co-authored the award-winning book, “A Vision of Universal Preschool Education.”

“This year’s annual conference promises to offer concentrated information sharing and an array of skill-building prospects,” said MHSA Executive Director Robin J. Bozek.  “It’s an important event for our members because of the opportunity to become re-energized in their professional development and in this critical work.”

This year marks MHSA’s 26th annual conference which attracts grantees – those who operate Early Head Start programs for children 0 to 3 and Head Start programs for 3 and 4 year olds – from across Michigan. There are 127 programs in Michigan serving 35,000 children and pregnant woman.

Besides Gilliam, the program includes more than 30 break-out sessions on a variety of topics ranging from trauma-informed practices, parent engagement, classroom management, preschool health screenings and more.

Click here to access the program book with descriptions for each educational session. 

Click here to register today!