“Protect Our Kids from Preschool”

Shikha Dalmia & Lisa Snell:

Barack Obama says he believes in universal preschool and if he’s elected president he’ll pump “billions of dollars into early childhood education.” Universal preschool is now second only to universal health care on the liberal policy wish list. Democratic governors across the country — including in Illinois, Arizona, Massachusetts and Virginia — have made a major push to fund universal preschool in their states.
But is strapping a backpack on all 4-year-olds and sending them to preschool good for them? Not according to available evidence.
“Advocates and supporters of universal preschool often use existing research for purely political purposes,” says James Heckman, a University of Chicago Noble laureate in economics whose work Mr. Obama and preschool activists routinely cite. “But the solid evidence for the effectiveness of early interventions is limited to those conducted on disadvantaged populations.”
Mr. Obama asserted in the Las Vegas debate on Jan. 15 that every dollar spent on preschool will produce a 10-fold return by improving academic performance, which will supposedly lower juvenile delinquency and welfare use — and raise wages and tax contributions. Such claims are wildly exaggerated at best.

2 thoughts on ““Protect Our Kids from Preschool””

  1. This article is written from a conservative perspective, but progressives ought to pay attention. The goal ought to be to get sustained help to the kids who desperately need it early enough that it will do some good. We need a well-funded program that will help the children most in need, not a universal pre-K program.

  2. I have to agree with Obama. Please let me explain.
    I have three kids and my youngest one will start going to preschool this fall part time as a 3 year old. We (my wife and I) have come to see how much of an advantage they have once they start in kindergarten, they already know most of the stuff that they need in kindergarten and therefore allows them to excel, which builds their self esteem and confidence.
    We are lucky enough that we can afford to do this, a lot of other people cannot. But I cannot fathom why someone would think that this is not a good thing for our children.
    In my personal experience this has been a godsend for my children.

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