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Can positive school climate ameliorate racial-ethnic disparities in pre-kindergarten quality? Evidence from a large urban school district


We investigated whether school climate, specifically effective school leadership, strong family ties, and trusting relationships, moderates the well-documented disparities in pre-kindergarten quality for Black and Latine students relative to their peers. In a sample of 615 public schools in a large, urban school district serving a minoritized student population (the average school in the sample served 66% Black and Latine students), we first explored patterns of disparities and found that Black and Latine children, on average, experience lower-quality pre-kindergarten in terms of classroom organization, emotional support, and instructional support. Using structural equation modeling, we found that a multi-dimensional index of school climate moderated this relationship with pre-kindergarten quality in terms of classroom organization and emotional support, but not instructional support. These findings suggest a potential role for school climate in mitigating existing inequities in the quality of pre-kindergarten. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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