Yea, no. Obama’s pre-school plan, which won’t add ONE DIME to the deficit.
“Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said Wednesday in an interview broadcast online that funding early-childhood programs is the best investment in education. He said it’s easy for politicians to ignore pre-K, particularly because it will be many years before they see a return on their investment. But, Mr. Duncan said, too many children are already behind when they reach kindergarten. “We’re constantly playing catch-up at every level,” he said.”
It’s called READING TO YOUR CHILD. How can a kid be “behind” in kindergarten? This is an old rant of mine, but when I went to school you learned to read in first grade. Kindergarten was for finger painting, and getting in a circle and passing out maracas to sing silly songs. Somehow we learned the alphabet. And then first grade that magical thing happened- I learned to read. It was GO from there, and astonishingly I consistently scored well above my grade level in reading.
Yet – NOW? Kids are supposed to be able to read three-letter words by the time they enter kindergarten. Why?
Kids graduated from high school knowing less then they ever did, yet they need to begin K-12 already able to read?
Someone. Please. Explain.
Regardless, it doesn’t work anyway. Because “Head Start” and early intervention programs merely attempt to make-up for parenting deficiencies. Which are STILL there once the program ends, because those sucky parents who weren’t there for their pre-schooler to read them “The Giving Tree” STILL aren’t there to insure they are doing their homework.
Most other academic studies have also found early educational intervention “fade out” and that these programs rarely achieve what they promise. Russ Whitehurst of the Brookings Institution wrote Wednesday that the available studies supporting universal pre-K were “thin empirical gruel.” Researchers at the Heritage Foundation and the conservative sociologist Charles Murray have come to similar conclusions. This is about as close to an intellectual policy consensus as Washington gets.
“In his State of the Union address, President Obama called on Congress to expand access to high-quality preschool to every child in America,” said a White House statement. “As part of that effort, the President will propose a series of new investments that will establish a continuum of high-quality early learning for a child — beginning at birth and continuing to age 5.
Glenn Reynolds’s “The K-12 Implosion” puts the entire thing into perspective.
Previous programs that were successful, unlike Head Start, were really – REALLY- expensive.
James Heckman estimates a present-day cost of about $20,000 per child. And that’s pocket change compared to Abecedarian, which cost an amazing $90,000 per student in today’s dollars.
You know, I could read to a few of these kids for $20,000 a head.
*applies for government grant