Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Dead-End Road Called Pre-K

In last year’s State of the Union address, President Obama called for new federal entitlements for taxpayer-funded free preschool, now called pre-K meaning pre-Kindergarten, for all 4-year-olds. We though his idea would be quickly discredited, not only by its enormous cost, but more importantly by overwhelming research that proves the lack of any long-term benefit from such programs. Now we are dismayed to learn from Politico that a dozen Republican-governed states are planning on expanding taxpayer-financed pre-K programs next year.

Why are these Republicans accepting Obama’s claim that pre-K “works” and produces benefits in a child’s later life? The science actually shows that pre-K provides, at best, a small temporary benefit that can’t be measured past the third grade. There is NO evidence that kids benefit from attending preschool instead of being cared for by their mothers at home.

These Republican governors seem to think they can defeat Democrats by adopting one of Obama’s favorite programs. Despite these high-profile Republican salesmen of pre-K, we haven’t seen any evidence that pre-K benefits children or accomplishes any of its promised goals. Like the classic TV ad asks, where’s the beef? Daycare advocates like to cite “models for success” like the so-called Perry Preschool Project. But that project took place 50 years ago and used highly trained teachers. The Perry results have never been replicated despite many subsequent attempts, so that study is not scientifically credible.

One of the best things we can do for pre-kindergarten children is to make sure we don’t hang trillions of dollars of debt around their necks from these failed government-daycare programs.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pre-K is a joke. I didn't send any of my five kids to preschool, and all of them ended up excelling in their classes. One of my sons was pulled out of his kindergarten (!) class and put into a remedial reading class because he didn't know how to read when most of his classmates who attended preschool could. Today, a sophomore, he consistently tests in the 90th percentile in standardized tests and was nominated for National Honor Society. Preschool mainly serves as cheap daycare or helps to start breaking the parent-child bond as early as possible. It does nothing to help with academics long-term, especially when the curriculum in the schools is weak.

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