Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Universal Preschool?



With support from major foundations and political heavy hitters like Barack Obama, universal preschool is the next big thing in education reform. Indeed, on the liberal wish list, it is second only...

With support from major foundations and political heavy hitters like Barack Obama, universal preschool is the next big thing in education reform. Indeed, on the liberal wish list, it is second only to universal health care. The goal is to offer publicly funded preschool--complete with credentialed teachers and and a standardized curriculum--to all four-year olds during the school year.

Advocates argue that public investments in early education will pay dividends over the long-term. Critics point out that the evidence from states that have universal preschool programs shows that the benefits kids receive from those programs fade out by the 4th grade.

Since preschool attendance rates in states that have universal preschool are no higher than the national average, universal preschool wouldn't even increase preschool attendance. It would, however, cost a lot of money, put lots of privately owned preschools out of business and dramatically decrease early education options for parents.

So what do you think? Is simply expanding our failing K-12 system the best way to fix it?

Hosted by Nick Gillespie, this Reason.tv documentary was written by Paul Feine and photographed by Roger M. Richards.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Offering" gov't pre-school to little kids is the first step towarding "mandating" gov't pre-school. Children with normal parents do better at home. What child w/loving parents wouldn't choose their parents' attention over a crowded class with 1.5 adults trying to keep control?

The day they show up at my door to forcibly put my kids in their pre-school is the day I grab the nearest weapon and take my stand to the death.

John Imrie said...

The government - in its infinite wisdom - thinks it knows better than parents how to raise kids.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if parents stop abusing there kids and denying them things we would not need this provison.

sbm said...

why don't we take this experiment 1 step further and give vouchers to folks who wish to send there kids to pre-school. We can test the early schooling theory and the private over public arguement...

Liz said...

To the second Anonymous: huh?

Where are these parents who are abusing their kids and "denying them things"? (Also, the second part is part of being a good parent, but that's another issue.)

Are you suggesting that the government should waste other peoples'money on something that doesn't work and which people don't want on the grounds that they are ALL abusers? Or, if there are good parents, why should they suffer because you don't like their priorities?

Andre' said...

call me paranoid but I agree with anonymous #1.The evidence suggests that children learn more at home with their parents at 4,so why push preschool?They want to get to your children even earlier.They being the massive propaganda machine we know as "public school".

Anonymous said...

First question what if the parents are dumb? How is a parent going to teach a child "every major subject". And, yes there are many parents that beat there kids and having the kid stay home only encourages more beatings. I am sorry home schooling is a form of midevil abuse.

We need to see and hear from these children not have there psycho parents keep them locked in a basment learing the how God created the earth in 6 day!