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The Starting Line

The Starting Line
Latina/o Children, Texas Schools, and National Debates on Early Education

A deeply researched work that sheds light on growing income inequality in Texas and how early education programs, particularly among low-income Latina/o populations, result in varying degrees of success and failure.

December 2020
Not yet published

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This book will be available in November 2020.
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208 pages | 6 x 9 |

How can we create high-quality learning environments for children from socially, politically, and economically marginalized groups? How do early childhood programs help to overcome the challenges created by poverty? Seeking to answer these questions, The Starting Line delves into the ups and downs of early education programs serving Latinas/os in Texas, using the state as a window into broader debates about academic opportunity and the changing demographics of the United States.

Immersing readers in the day-to-day activities of Texas's early childhood education programs, Robert Crosnoe illuminates how significant obstacles can stymie the best intentions. Crosnoe pays particular attention to the complex connections among classrooms, schools, families, and communities, as well as the frequently unfolding interplay of educational philosophies. The result is a story highlighting the promises of early childhood education, the perils faced in attempting to fulfill them, and the degree to which Texas stands at the forefront of some larger movements and lags behind in others.

Giving voice to bilingual educators and low-income Latina/o families, this book is a timely exploration of the strengths and needs of what will soon be the largest share of the US child population.


Robert Crosnoe is associate dean of liberal arts and Rapoport Centennial Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of, most recently, Debating Early Child Care: The Relationship between Developmental Science and the Media and a coauthor of Families Now: Diversity, Demography, and Development, among others.