Monday, March 4, 2013

Another Great Entitlement Program—Preschool Education

President Obama is working up another governmental wonder—a pump up of preschool education. He pointed out that the Georgia program of pre-school education is well on the way to achieving the goals of reducing the teen pregnancy rate, the rate of violent crimes, and causing the graduates of these programs to earn higher wages as adults.

He pointed out that “study after study” has shown that public pre-school education for every child results in lasting academic gains and other cognitive and social improvements. Actually, there were only two studies favorable to preschool education—both of them done four and five decades ago. The studies to which he refers contained 111 and 123 students respectively, all of whom were very poor. These programs were characterized by extremely intensive, personal, involvement of the teachers. The studies featured home visits, parent counseling, nutrition, health care, and other social services. Those studies were expensive, costing $16,000 and $41,000 (in today’s dollar values) per child per year. Currently, Georgia spends $4,298/year/child in preschool.

This results of this preschool program is proposed to surpass the results of the Head Start program. Well, I hope so. The Department of Health and Human Services released a report in December 2012 that said the recipients of Head Start performed better than nonparticipants do until the third grade, when their performance matched perfectly to the performance of students who were not included in Head Start. In other words, the preschool program, Head Start, does not favorably impact student performance beyond the third grade. So, I guess, the solution to that educational program is to throw more money at it—a typical governmental solution to a failed program.

Now, let’s get serious about this Obama proposal. Are there any people out there who actually believe that a preschool program will decrease the teen pregnancy rate and decrease the violent crime rate years after the student graduates into kindergarten??! Give me a break!!

If you look at the data from Oklahoma and Georgia (the two states that now have universal preschool programs) on teen pregnancy rates, you will find that both states have teen pregnancy rates far above the national average. These studies were made after the first cohort of preschool graduates passed through high school graduation.

Consider the high school graduation rates of Oklahoma and Georgia: Oklahoma ranks 25th in the country on graduation rates; and Georgia ranks 45th among the states.

I wonder…. Could it be that the poor performance in reducing teen pregnancy and in increasing graduation rates might have been due, actually, to the fact that these state programs have caused the poor results?

Do you really think we need this new entitlement program?

This post was partly redacted from the Wall Street Journal 2/26/13 page A14.)


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  2. Thanks for sharing Interesting post. Great job!! You have a nice blog for Preschool . I will be back alot Good luck with all you do!
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