I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Universal Pre-K: Myths and Reality Part II

I've discussed this issue plenty on this blog.  Universal Pre-K, funded by tax dollars, touted as an "educational program" panacea that will benefit students throughout their lives, is a myth. It is an expensive one, to boot.

But these programs enjoy broad bipartisan support from politicians of every stripe that love the money these programs inject into their jurisdictions.  Everyone loves money, right? And if it funds a program "for the children"---- it becomes all but  unstoppable, a juggernaut.

Even if the best, most well-constructed studies debunk the lofty claims Universal Pre-K proponents espouse (lifetime benefits,7 to 1 ROI, value to communities, etc, etc. etc.) --these  ideologues married to the notion that the government must fund these programs will never stop proclaiming their view of the benefits of these programs, intentionally disguising the fact that these programs are job creating entitlements, not long-term, effective educational programs...

Earlier this week US News and World Report ran an article on this same subject.  From the report:

"Pre-K for all” has become a rallying cry for progressives, underscored last week by Hillary Clinton’s speech at the Center for American Progress' discussion on “Expanding Opportunity in America’s Urban Areas." In her seven-minute talk, Clinton emphasized the “overriding issues of inequality and lack of mobility” in America, and praised New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s universal pre-K program as a model for helping the struggling middle class. There’s no question that the rapidly growing cost of child care has become a huge burden on middle-class families. Since 2000, the cost of child care has increased twice as much as median income of families with children..Pre-K advocates

 widely cite two well-run demonstration projects from a half century ago – Perry Preschool and the Abecedarian Project – as proof that pre-K has lasting benefits for low-income kids..Perry and Abecedarian clearly show that it’s possible for early intervention (in the case of Abecedarian, starting shortly after birth), when done correctly, to significantly change the lives of poor children for the better, with considerable benefits to society. But they show absolutely nothing about universal pre-K.The unfortunate bottom line is that big scale-ups of "pre-K for all" are much more useful to politicians and the middle class than to the disadvantaged children most in need of help." 

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