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Is Obama’s universal pre-K plan too much, too soon?
A E I ^ | 2-15 | James Pethokoukis

Posted on 02/15/2013 8:58:50 AM PST by ExxonPatrolUs

Proponents of President Obama’s universal prekindergarten proposal make a strong case for the potential benefits of such a plan. Studies of about 100 low-income kids enrolled in two pricey and intensive preschool projects in the 1960s and 1970s found the children, while not experiencing any permanen IQ improvement, developed life skills that meant they were more likely as adults to hold a job, own a home, and stay out of jail than counterparts in a control group.

More recently studies of broader, statewide pre-K programs, particularly in Oklahoma provide some further evidence of effectiveness, though the results are certainly not ,without dispute. Russ Whitehurst of Brookings call them “thin empirical gruel” that shouldn’t “satisfy policymakers who want to practice evidence-based education.” And in The Wall Street Journal, Maria Fitzpatrick, professor of policy analysis and management at Cornell University, cautions “results show that only some children gain—disadvantaged children, particularly those in rural areas—and that the effects fade out over time.”

So where does that leave us? Is it worth spending $100 billion over a decade on an education program whose benefits might prove transitory? What’s the downside of a implementing a broad, quality program with well-trained teachers and small class size — other than failure? Well, wasting $100 billion is not an insignificant downside. And once the program is in place, politicians will be tempted to expand it further, creating another unaffordable middle-class entitlement.

Moreover, since the federal funds are likely to be funneled through public schools, the pre-K plan represents a further retreat from school choice. Lindsey Burke of the Heritage Foundation worries about a crowding out effect and a resulting “reduction in private preschool programs, including faith-based providers and non-profit preschools, [that]will result in diminished parental choice and control in education. Universal preschool will limit choice for parents because it will be difficult for private preschools to compete with highly subsidized or free government-supported programs.”

Educator Chester Finn, in a 2009 Washington Post piece, recommends that instead of a pre-K program for all, policymakers should focus on the following:

1. Delivering intensive, targeted education services — preferably starting at birth and including parents as well as children — to the relative handful of children (one or two of every 10 babies) who would truly be unready to succeed in school without heavy-duty interventions. Most are children of poor, young, single mothers, often of color, who themselves have little education.

2. Redeploying pre-K funds and revamping existing programs, beginning with Head Start, to emphasize the cognitive side of kindergarten preparation (e.g., pre-literacy skills such as letters, sounds and shapes) and judging the effectiveness of such programs by the readiness of their graduates.

3. Beefing up school-reform efforts so that the classrooms poor children enter have high standards, knowledgeable teachers, coherent curriculums and the ability to tailor instruction to children’s readiness levels — and to accumulate gains from year to year rather than dissipate and squander them.

There might be a compromise to be had on this issue.


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Education
KEYWORDS: aei; ece; headstart; nannystate; pethokoukis; preschool; universalpreschool

1 posted on 02/15/2013 8:58:54 AM PST by ExxonPatrolUs
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To: ExxonPatrolUs

Next step they’ll have us all on kibbutz where the children are taken from their mothers right after birth and raised by surrogate mothers and the real mothers are sent directly back to work for the good of the state.


2 posted on 02/15/2013 9:02:20 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: ExxonPatrolUs

He is going for more control and brainwashing, he wants to be dictator


3 posted on 02/15/2013 9:02:43 AM PST by Big Horn (Rebuild the GOP to a conservative party)
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To: ExxonPatrolUs

Looking at how wonderful Headstart was, this should be amazing.


4 posted on 02/15/2013 9:03:53 AM PST by mortal19440
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To: ExxonPatrolUs

The kids are easier to indoctrinate the younger they are. He has a plan.. and he is executing his plan unopposed.


5 posted on 02/15/2013 9:04:24 AM PST by vet7279 (Those of you who think you know it all are very annoying to those of us who do!)
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To: ExxonPatrolUs

Public school, modeled after Soviet Russia and Red China.


6 posted on 02/15/2013 9:05:22 AM PST by stars & stripes forever ((Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord!))
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To: stars & stripes forever

No room here for family or mother/father teaching in the preschool years. Just indoctrination by the state at a younger and younger age while the “family” structure takes another blow.


7 posted on 02/15/2013 9:08:08 AM PST by MWestMom (Will Americans stop someone who views our children as "collateral damage" in their quest for power?)
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To: ExxonPatrolUs

When I was a,child, the school district didn’t have kindergarten. I was still 5 years old when everyone else in class was 6, so I had to play catchup at first, but eventually I did all right. Of course, I had parents who actively encouraged education and teachers who taught instead of indoctrinated.

My point is, if a child doesn’t have support for education in the home and teachers who actually teach, starting children early is not going to make a difference.


8 posted on 02/15/2013 9:16:50 AM PST by fatnotlazy
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To: ExxonPatrolUs

The headline had me at too much. Too soon means it is a valid program at some point, thus negating the question.


9 posted on 02/15/2013 9:17:17 AM PST by Ingtar (Everyone complains about the weather, but only Liberals try to legislate it.)
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To: ExxonPatrolUs

There is not a single credible study which demonstrates any advantage to children after third grade.
Yes, there is some evidence that these pre-school kids start out ahead of kids who do not go to pre-school but by the third grade, no difference.


10 posted on 02/15/2013 9:17:25 AM PST by svcw (Why is one cell on another planet considered life, and in the womb it is not.)
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To: ExxonPatrolUs

“developed life skills”

BS. You do not “develop” any life skills, whatever those are, in preschool. It’s daycare.


11 posted on 02/15/2013 9:18:31 AM PST by Tublecane
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To: ExxonPatrolUs

Preschool programs had nothing to do with the lifelong success of these children. Dad and (or) Mom being a role model and parenting had everything to do with it. Whether the parents were dedicated enough to send their children to preschool or just everyday being a role model is what made the difference, not the stupid program.

And the last thing I needed to do with my son at 3 or 4 is put him in a regimented program. He needed to be a boy, doing boy things.


12 posted on 02/15/2013 9:20:33 AM PST by ican'tbelieveit (School is prison for children who have commited the crime of being born. (attr: St_Thomas_Aquinas))
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To: ExxonPatrolUs

Ability to tailor instruction to children’s readiness levels.
Programing via the feds.


13 posted on 02/15/2013 9:21:51 AM PST by Vaduz
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To: fatnotlazy

We had kindygarden, and it was worthless. Nothing but Rousseauan, progressive, German, Deweyan nonsense. Although I remember they took us to a piazza joint and let us toss our own dough, which was fun. I recall preschool, just barely. It was run by a Lutheran church, which is different. Though we were Catholic, which I can’t explain except to say it was only a couple blocks away from my house.

No real education started until 1st grade, which is when they bothered to teach reading. 2nd grade started times tables, I think, third cursive, and so on. 1st through 7th could probably be taught in a year, if you were really motivated.


14 posted on 02/15/2013 9:27:41 AM PST by Tublecane
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To: ExxonPatrolUs

First thing out, the Narcissistic Little Marxist Bastard robs our children and grandchildren of their futures, now he wants to rob them of their innocence and freedom.

What an evil sonovabitch!


15 posted on 02/15/2013 9:29:00 AM PST by Howie66 (Molon Labe, Traitors!)
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To: Tublecane

Tublecane~:” BS. You do not “develop” any life skills, whatever those are, in preschool. It’s daycare.”

Quite true ! It is daycare
According to the fluff-libturd Huffington Post yesterday , there are also empathy and disciplinary problems in future grades.
According to the piece , what is needed is maternal physical and emotional contact.
Also , it will swell the numbers of school union members when the number of members is declining .
Furthermore , it will increase ‘entitlements’ and deepen the national debt.


16 posted on 02/15/2013 9:29:27 AM PST by Tilted Irish Kilt (“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” - Ronald Reagan)
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To: ExxonPatrolUs
Back in the Carter days, when the left was panting for another four years of Jimmy, I remember lots of talk about pre-K - mandatory, all day, etc., on top of all the gas lines, the fractured armed services, and the double digit interest rates.

Sounds like they are just going down their checklist for the implementation of their Marxist utopia.

Do they actually think that we will not at some point get sick and tired of their crap and cram all this stuff down their throats? We are fortunate they are working so quickly.

When Ronald Reagan won in 1980, these Marxist Utopians were royally pi$$ed. Ronnie threw a HUGE monkey wrench into their happy dreams.

I think they are due for another, bigger pi$$ing contest.

17 posted on 02/15/2013 9:41:03 AM PST by Slyfox (The key to Marxism is medicine - Vladimir Lenin)
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To: ExxonPatrolUs

“Too much too soon”???? When is it EVER time for more government control over their employers and their employers’ kids? I didn’t realize there was a schedule for tyranny, and as long as you do it according to the schedule, it doesn’t reek to high heaven.


18 posted on 02/15/2013 9:43:47 AM PST by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: Tublecane
We had kindygarden, and it was worthless. Nothing but Rousseauan, progressive, German, Deweyan nonsense.

We actually had no free public kindergarten when I was that age, so I started with first grade. Sounds like I didn't miss much.

No real education started until 1st grade, which is when they bothered to teach reading. 2nd grade started times tables, I think, third cursive, and so on. 1st through 7th could probably be taught in a year, if you were really motivated.

I could read by the time I got there, and we did cursive in second and by third we were on exponents, so I think you're probably right.

19 posted on 02/15/2013 9:49:47 AM PST by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: ExxonPatrolUs

it’s blatantly unconstitutional!


20 posted on 02/15/2013 9:50:12 AM PST by John O (God Save America (Please))
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To: ExxonPatrolUs

I’m looking for the candidate who will eliminate the Department of Education.

Far from imposing universal “pre-K”, we have to return education to the states and municipalities.

And, in the mean-time, get your kids out of public school. Grandparents, you may have to help.


21 posted on 02/15/2013 9:50:32 AM PST by marron
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Makes me think of a picture from the movie: “Agenda: The grinding down of America”
From Russia in the 60’s (?) - nurses taking care of babies - dozens on a table with an edge to keep them from rolling off. I know I saw that as a child when the good sisters were teaching us about communism and how bad it was.

Scary...


22 posted on 02/15/2013 9:53:47 AM PST by RebelTXRose
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To: Still Thinking
We actually had no free public kindergarten when I was that age, so I started with first grade. Sounds like I didn't miss much.

We had kindergarten, but it wasn't required and I didn't go.

I subsequently did well all through school. I don't think I missed anything at all. Somehow I figured out how to cut with scissors without their help.

23 posted on 02/15/2013 9:54:23 AM PST by marron
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To: ExxonPatrolUs
If we are sensible, we would tell the STATE to go F themselves in regard to universal Pre-K, K and 1- 12. To raise good FREE AMERICANS, parents need to stop letting the SOCIALIST INDOCTRINATION CENTER brainwash our kids.

Parenting is hard, but the rewards for FREEDOM LOVING AMERICANS is that we can have kids who'll fight the LIBERALS!!!

24 posted on 02/15/2013 9:56:45 AM PST by ExCTCitizen (More Republicans stayed home then the margin of victory of O's Win...)
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To: marron

I thought Reagan was supposed to eliminate education. Then a few years later we end up with Bill Bennett preaching to us about values and crap like that. What happened? The Reagan administration is an object lesson in Big Government: it grows. That’s it. Doesn’t matter who’s in charge.

If it doesn’t grow, or is shrunk back, that’s merely a stutter step. Check back in later, and it’ll be ahead of where you left it.


25 posted on 02/15/2013 9:57:12 AM PST by Tublecane
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To: Big Horn
Exactly. This is not about education. This is about government indoctrination.
26 posted on 02/15/2013 10:03:05 AM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: ExxonPatrolUs

1, kids don’t need to go to “preschool”; they don’t need Kindergarten, either!

2, we don’t need more governmental control over our children and thus, the whole citizenry! It never ends with these tyrants!


27 posted on 02/15/2013 10:14:23 AM PST by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Technological progress cannot be legislated.)
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To: ExxonPatrolUs

Wouldn’t want those babies to stay home with their moms and dads for a few formative years, now would we? It’s just another program and another billion or so. And after the first week, it becomes an entitlement and you can already almost hear the screaming about how we dare not cut funding.


28 posted on 02/15/2013 10:39:25 AM PST by AD from SpringBay (We deserve the government we allow.)
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To: ExxonPatrolUs

This is not a function permitted to the Federal Government. However, to a Socialist Autocrat the proscriptions of a written Constitution have no effect.

However, provision is made for Impeachment, but Courage must find other sources.


29 posted on 02/15/2013 10:41:35 AM PST by Elsiejay
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To: ican'tbelieveit

And the last thing I needed to do with my son at 3 or 4 is put him in a regimented program. He needed to be a boy, doing boy things.

***
Yes, exactly. That was my opinion, as well, when I was raising my little guys.


30 posted on 02/15/2013 10:41:55 AM PST by Bigg Red (Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved! -Ps80)
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To: ExxonPatrolUs

Tomorrow-the world belongs to us!


31 posted on 02/15/2013 10:49:35 AM PST by Dr. Ursus
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To: ExxonPatrolUs

Right when we should be cutting “social” spending, Hussein wants to spend more.

The guy is a walking disaster for America.


32 posted on 02/15/2013 10:58:43 AM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: BenLurkin
Come on folks it's for the Children, and of course the tens of thousands of Unionized Baby Sitters that the Preschools would need to hire. /s
33 posted on 02/15/2013 11:54:49 AM PST by DAC21
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