State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Releases New Publication on Equitable Learning Environments for Young Boys of Color

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today released the “Creating Equitable Early Learning Environments for Young Boys of Color: Disrupting Disproportionate Outcomes” publication. This report was created by the California Department of Education’s (CDE) Early Education Division and is the fifth publication in a special topic series titled Best Practices for Planning Curriculum for Young Children.

The Young Boys of Color report highlights the critical need to disrupt disproportionate discipline patterns and create strength-based and equity-oriented early childhood environments that help Black and Brown boys to thrive. Educators and program leaders are provided with a helpful roadmap for improving racial equity through strengthening racial awareness, addressing implicit bias, and creating culturally responsive environments that are safe, affirming, and engaging for boys of color and their families.

“This groundbreaking report provides an honest and comprehensive look at the inequitable experiences our youngest boys of color have in early learning programs, including disproportionate rates of exclusionary discipline such as pushouts, suspensions, and expulsions,” Superintendent Thurmond said. “The report highlights the critical need to disrupt these patterns and create strength-based and equity-oriented early childhood environments that support boys of color to thrive.”

“Although the pandemic has impacted everyone, it has disproportionately affected our student groups that were already vulnerable—and who were made vulnerable due to historic and systemic inequities,” Thurmond added. “This is an urgent time for Black students, and in order to make sustainable and long-term changes, we must look to supports and actions that are backed and proven by research. We know that Black students—particularly Black boys—are one of the most vulnerable groups.”

This publication is part of broader efforts by Superintendent Thurmond to address issues of equity that include Education to End Hate Initiative grants and launching a series of town halls and webinars focusing on Black and Brown student achievement. Additional investments include professional development for educators in anti-bias grants and launching the Black Student Achievement Task Force to implement a strategy to close the gap that persists (and is widening) between students of color and their white and Asian peers.

For more information, visit the CDE Early Education Publications web page.

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