Sunday, September 11, 2022

Katherine M. Zinsser's "No Longer Welcome"

Katherine M. Zinsser is an Associate Professor of Community & Prevention Research in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She received her Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology from George Mason University and her B.A. from Smith College. She studies classroom interactions, supports, and policies that impact young children's emotional well-being and the well-being of the professionals who care for them. Her work has been funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the Spencer Foundation, the American Psychological Association's Society for Community Research and Action, the Foundation of Child Development, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. At the University of Illinois at Chicago, her research team ( conducts action research in collaboration with community stakeholders and practitioners.

Zinsser applied the Page 99 Test to her new book, No Longer Welcome: The Epidemic of Expulsion from Early Childhood Education, and reported the following:
The casual browser taking No Longer Welcome off the shelf in a bookstore or library and flipping to page 99 would find themselves towards the end of a chapter. This page reiterates the focus of the chapter – that relationships hold great power in early education and, when well and positively formed, connections between parents and teachers can be one our most ubiquitous and potent tools to prevent the expulsion of children from preschools.

The top of page 99 includes a summary of a mixed-method study of parent-teacher relationships among children who were previously expelled from a childcare or preschool program. In line with other sections of the book, quotes on this page provide insight into teachers’ lived experiences working in early childhood education. Down the page, the reader is reminded of the inherently social nature of learning and the critical role that home-school connections play in supporting children’s academic motivation and achievement over time. Finally, in setting up the transition to the next chapter, page 99 reiterates a central tenant of the book: that to resolve our nation’s early childhood expulsion crisis, we must examine the whole ecological system in which childcare is provided.

In general, the Page 99 Test works reasonably well for this book – this page hits several themes and introduces some key players (parents, teachers, children but not program administrators or policy makers). However, most readers would likely pause early on page 99 and ask themselves, “Wait, kids get expelled from preschool?” which is a common response when I tell colleagues about my program of research. Hopefully, readers would be motivated then to examine the Table of Contents to see where they can learn more about the rates, causes, and consequences of this disciplinary practice, as well as the systemic drivers of inequity in who is often expelled (namely boys, Black children, and children with disabilities) and promising policy and practice solutions.
Learn more about No Longer Welcome at the Oxford University Press website, and visit the SETL Lab website.

--Marshal Zeringue