Skip to comments.Pre-K Won't Help Kids
Posted on 02/26/2013 5:32:50 AM PST by Kaslin
President Obama ended his State of the Union speech on a warm and fuzzy note by calling for pre-K programs for almost all children. The best thing he could do for pre-kindergarten children is to make sure he doesn't hang trillions of dollars of debt around their necks, but that isn't the route he is taking.
Instead, Obama wants to provide government daycare for all preschoolers who live in households where the income is below approximately $47,100. He doesn't call it daycare or babysitting (which is a more accurate term); he calls it early childhood education.
Early childhood education means programs for kids from birth to age 3 (a massively expanded Early Head Start, home visits by nurses, parental education and health services), more of the existing Head Start (mostly for 3-year-olds), more "high-quality preschool" for 4-year-olds available to every child in America and full-day kindergarten for all.
Obama went to College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center near Atlanta to formally unveil his extravagant program. He said, "Let's do what works and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind."
The daycare advocates like to cite as models for success the so-called Perry Preschool Project and the Abecedarian Project. Those two projects took place a half-century ago, using highly trained teachers under optimum conditions; one project studied only 58 3-to 4-year-old children, and the other only 57.
The proclaimed purpose of pre-K education is to close the gap between kids from high-income and low-income households. The defect in Obama's announcement is that there is no evidence that pre-K schooling can or will accomplish that -- it's not a program "that works."
The federal program called Head Start was created in 1965 as part of Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty. It has been running nearly 50 years, now costing $23,000 per student, and incurring a total expense of $150 billion, but it still does not provide promised benefits.
Obama likes to say he is guided by "the science," and he claims that "study after study" shows every dollar of Pre-K "investment" (that's the liberals' synonym for taxes) saves seven dollars later on. Obama's falsehood is easily refuted.
In fact, all studies show that Head Start and all the early interventions do not achieve what they promised, and any benefits "fade out" by the third grade. His own Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) did an important Head Start Impact Study tracking the progress of 3- and 4-year-olds from entering Head Start through kindergarten and first grade and then a follow-up study on the students' performance through the end of the third grade.
The conclusion was that Head Start had little to no effect on cognitive, social-emotional or health outcomes of participating children. The HHS report was released on the Friday before Christmas, hoping to avoid press coverage and to minimize public attention.
The principal goals of the billions of federal tax dollars poured into public schools during the George W. Bush Administration were to raise U.S. scores on international tests and to close the gap between high-income and low-income students. All that spending was a failure on both counts.
Head Start was based on the assumption that government schools can compensate children for the disadvantage of being poor. It's time to face up to the fact that children are poor mainly because they don't have a father provider-protector, and the problem we should address is the decline in marriage.
Obama's pre-K proposals are just a reprise of the perennial feminist demand for government-paid daycare. The feminists believe it's part of the war on women by the patriarchy for society to expect mothers to care for their children, and they should be relieved of this burden by the taxpayers.
Can you believe? The feminists are still whining about President Richard Nixon's 1971 veto of the Brademas-Mondale Comprehensive Child Development Act, which would have made daycare (now called Pre-K) a new middle class entitlement. A feminist article on Feb. 14, 2013 in The New York Times claimed that Obama's pre-K proposal is a resurrection of Walter Mondale's bill that was defeated under a tsunami of public opposition.
The feminists are thrilled that Obama has picked up where Mondale left off 42 years ago. Remember Mondale? He was defeated by Ronald Reagan back in 1984.
The real difference between high-achieving and low-achieving children is whether or not they live in a traditional family. There is no substitute for the enormous advantage to children of growing up in a home with their own mother and father.
A better formula for helping kids to achieve in school would be to stop giving financial handouts that operate as incentives to women to have babies without marriage.
“Do you guys just not like it because Obamas doing it?”
Notice how that was put into question form. I’m not accusing anyone, just questioning your motives. Although it’s clear to me you’re old-fashioned. Nothing wrong with that if you want to sit on your front porch whittling and talking about how rotten everything’s become.
You offer no solutions.
Kids need to be home with a sane mom during those years. I know that’s asking a lot with the raw materials we have to work with.
The 'problem' lies MUCH deeper than the schools.
You will NEVER find the word SIN anywhere in M EDIA these days.
EVIL - maybe - but SIN??
Gimme a break.
My wifes students were better off at the end of the year than they would have been if they hadnt taken the pre-k program.
And, your wife would have a LOT less of them IN the 'program'; if we did not SUBSIDIZE the creation of them!
It would have a lot more funds if the taxes on prostitution and marijuana sales were used as well.
At least the kid's parents ARE paying for some of it after all!
How do these students find their way to your wife’s classroom?
I do not think teaching your child basic things is a conservative ideal. It’s a part of living in a civilized society.
These things should be left to churches and individuals to handle. I went to kindergarten at a church. I still remember the teachers despite only attending that school for kindergarten. We said prayers. We thanked God for our food. Not government. Those were the days . . .
Although not many Freepers would agree, there are thousands of government workers who attempt to do a good job. It is the system that doesn’t work. Government is force. It is designed to maintain order and to defend from enemies. That is government’s only legitimate function, and it doesn’t even do that very well. No matter how well intentioned parents and teachers may be, the system will continue to deteriorate. Good teachers will continue to be frustrated in their attempts to change the system, and Christian parents should not be sending their children to places where their faith is mocked and even banned.
If government had been in charge of communication, we would be talking to each other by means of tin cans attached with strings.
As long as we have the moribund, one-size-fits-all government school system there will be no progress, no innovation, no real change, and a constant fight over who controls things. Why are we still doing things the way they were done 100 years ago? Why are children marched lockstep through the system regardless of their individual abilities? How many generations of poor kids are we going to sacrfice to terrible inner city schools?
Schools are quite similar to prisons, complete with all the negative social systems that are part of prison life. The worst thing that ever happened to this country was when government took over education.
And there is peer pressure even in pre-school. I just read an article about it the other day. Kids are not meant to be raised in herds. They need individual attention and some freedom to play and be creative. I realize that our government has so ruined the economy that it is difficult for many families to survive on one income, but that does not alter what is best for kids.
I can only imagine the different forms that education might have taken if left to the market and to creative people whose first interest was in educating children and not in pleasing the bureaucrats and doing things a certain way just because that is always how they were done. *sigh*
"Helping kids" has nothing to do with it - - it's all about expanding government unions (unionized teachers and daycare providers) and starting homosexual indoctrination earlier.
Thank GOD for Al Gore and his wonderful invention: the Internet!
When school boards accepted the offer they couldn't refuse.
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