Our Commitment to Equity


HighScope’s Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (REDI) Statement



Advancing racial equity has been at the center of HighScope’s mission since HighScope’s landmark Perry Preschool Study, developed by educational psychologist David P. Weikart in 1962 in Ypsilanti, Michigan, which followed 123 Black children born in poverty and placed at high risk of school failure. Conducted in partnership with Ypsilanti principal Charles E. Beatty, Sr., the first Black principal in the state of Michigan, the Perry Preschool Study first established the lasting human and financial value of early childhood education by demonstrating the positive long-term effects of high-quality preschool on young children.

Although much has changed since 1962, the need to provide equitable learning opportunities for Black and Brown children is as urgent today as it was then. Black and Brown children are still more likely to live in poverty, in resource-deprived communities, and have less access to high-quality early learning opportunities than White children. HighScope’s vision is to change the trajectory of the world, one child at a time, never forgetting the 123 children who inspired our work.

Building on our history and ongoing work in the field of early childhood education HighScope has made racial equity, diversity, and inclusion central to the organization’s policies, procedures, and research literature as evidenced by our demonstration preschool, curriculum, professional development, assessment, research, and evaluation. In all aspects of our work, we celebrate, respect, and incorporate the diversity of all members of the HighScope community. We especially seek to eradicate racism and other inequities that oppress the potential of children, family, and adults from marginalized and underrepresented groups.

Let’s explore how HighScope is advancing racial equity, diversity, and inclusion in our curriculum approach, professional learning, and research.


The HighScope Demonstration Preschool opened to children in the Ypsilanti community in 1971 and, while it extends the educational approach of the Perry Preschool Study, the preschool’s overarching goals are to

  1. Demonstrate HighScope’s curriculum in action to fidelity both nationally and internationally.
  2. Provide ongoing professional learning and coaching for teachers in the demonstration preschool.
  3. Serve as an innovation lab for research that supports and strengthens the HighScope Curriculum and related, resources, assessment tools, and professional learning.
  4. Provide access to a high-quality early learning option for the Ypsilanti community.


Whether in face-to-face, online, or in virtual professional learning, HighScope’s field consultants and instructors work with each individual participant to ensure preparation for success in using the HighScope model and approach. Through consultation, training, and coaching, HighScope’s professional learning courses are designed to respond to participants’ individual strengths and focus on practical application and implementation in real-world settings. Participants are encouraged to reflect individually, with other participants, and with a HighScope instructors on what they are learning and how the content can be used to support the work they do with children and families in their respective early childhood programs and communities.

We are making updates to ensure that all HighScope training

  1. Supports participants’ knowledge base and practical application and implementation efforts.
  2. Is implemented at the highest level and as intended.
  3. Materials incorporate REDI practices and address issues of privilege and cultural sensitivity, as well as the importance of humility in our relationships with families and young children.


The research agenda for HighScope is focused on providing rigorous evidence through a racial equity lens to support the implementation of practices and policies to strengthen children’s early learning and development and, most importantly, to create a pathway to school and life success. This is particularly important for children who are not afforded equitable opportunities due to poverty, institutional racism, adverse circumstances, and language and ability differences. 

Research priorities include

  • Conducting global research that advances the knowledge base of key malleable factors that address institutional racism; prevent or reduce opportunity gaps and, subsequently, achievement gaps; ensures excellence, and informs the successful development and implementation of intervention and educational programs impacting families, the workforce, and systems;
  • Rigorous examination of HighScope’s curricula, assessments, and professional development to improve the early learning experiences and settings for children locally, regionally, nationally, and globally; and
  • Engagement in diverse dissemination efforts that influence policy and practice by shaping the decision making of parents, practitioners, communities, and policymakers.

The HighScope approach is used in early childhood education programs across the United States and countries around the world given its potential to adapt to many children, in many contexts, from many cultures. Because of this adaptability, the HighScope approach also has the potential to foster racially equitable learning environments for all children and narrow the opportunity gap for Black and Brown children, in particular.

For 50 years, HighScope has created high-quality early learning resources through a racial equity lens for the early childhood field. In the interest of young children in the US and worldwide, our goal is to continue this work for the next 50 years and beyond.