A plague of preschool proposals
see "State eyes free preschool
Blagojevich plan would offer program to all 3- and 4-year-olds"
Chicago Tribune, 2/12/06
Following California, Colorado, and other places which are discussing "free universal preschool", and Oklahoma, Georgia and Florida who have implemented it, now the governor of Illinois is talking about this same terrible idea.
Here is my letter to the Chicago Tribune in response to the news story:
To the Editors:
In addition to the fact that universal preschool is a massive transfer of wealth from those without 3- or 4-year old children to those with them, it is hard to imagine what “evidence” Governor Blagojevich is citing to support this program.
Studies show that early education programs have made little or no difference in educational performance. Indeed, in the last 40 years, enrollment in early education programs has gone from about 16% of 4-year-olds to 2/3 of them without any real change in test results. During the first elementary school years, US kids out-test international students largely because the earliest part of a child’s education is greatly influenced by parents’ choices of teachers, locations, and programs rather than a one-government-size-fits-all approach.
Once our kids get into government schools they fall from some of the best in the industrialized world in 4th grade to some of the worst by the end of high school. The last thing we need is for government schools to get its hands on our children that much earlier with this hugely expensive “free program”.
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