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Universal Preschool News

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In this section, you'll find editorials, legislation, public policy and trends on issues relating to preschool, pre-kindergarten, childcare and the push toward universal preschool education. Particularly of note are articles concerning the states claim of a compelling interest in compulsory preschool education. Visit often for the latest preschool news.

The Evidence on Universal Preschool Calls for universal preschool programs have become commonplace, reinforced by President Obama's call for "high-quality preschool for all" in 2013. Any program that could cost state and federal taxpayers $50 billion per year warrants a closer look. This report reviews the major evaluations of preschool programs, including both traditional programs such as Head Start and those designated as "high quality." These evaluations do not paint a generally positive picture. The most methodologically rigorous evaluations find that the academic benefits of preschool programs are quite modest, and these gains fade after children enter elementary school. by David J. Armor October 15, 2014 [More Results from cato.org]
Forget universal preschool. We need a 13th grade. In education circles, universal preschool is hot. But it's only half the answer. If we really want to raise a generation of employable kids, we need universal 13th and 14th grades too. As taxpayers, we've decided to subsidize the education of every American child between the ages of 5 and 18. But current education funding structures reflect a bygone industrial age, when a high school diploma met or in some cases exceeded the needs of the local and national economies. Now, neither preschool nor college is a luxury, and families shouldn't have to pay for the schooling that keeps society running. by Andre M. Perry June 12, 2014 [More Results from washingtonpost.com]
Thousands of preschool kids face suspension Even preschoolers are getting suspended from U.S. public schools - and they're disproportionately black, a trend that continues up through the later grades. Advocates have long said that get-tough suspension and arrest policies in schools have contributed to a "school-to-prison" pipeline that snags minority students, but much of the emphasis has been on middle school and high school policies. This data shows the disparities starting in the youngest of children. by Kimberly Hefling and Jesse J. Holland March 21, 2014 [More Results from usnews.com]
Preschool threatens to dismiss worker for lunch food choice HONOLULU - When Carissa Lee O'Connell's husband Rick began preparing organic home lunches for his wife four months ago, the goal was to improve her severe nasal allergies. In April, Lee O'Connell was verbally warned by the preschool to stop eating home lunches in plain view of kids. But last week, the verbal warning was put to paper, stating that if O'Connell continued to defy school administrators, she would be summarily fired. by Andrew Pereira May 15, 2013 [More Results from kitv.com]
Head Start or Dead End? The only "lasting impact" of the Head Start program is on taxpayers' wallets. Those too-clever-for-words folks over at the Department of Health and Human Services have yet again tried to put one over on us. Using the oldest PR trick in the book, they released information to the media that they hoped no one would notice - on a Friday when people are too busy thinking about and planning their weekends. And because the report is very politically embarrassing, DHHS doubled down and went public on a Friday before a long holiday weekend. So right before Christmas, on Friday, December 21st, we were hit with the results of the third and final phase of the federal government's Head Start study. (Established by Lyndon Johnson in 1965, Head Start is the pet project of the early education crowd, which consists of spendaholic types aided, abetted and financed by the teachers unions, which love nothing more than expanding their roster of dues paying members. And President Obama is complicit member of this unholy alliance.) by Larry Sand January 2, 2013 [More Results from unionwatch.org]
Safety violations found at Head Start centers It's the kind of stuff that gives moms nightmares: a machete near a play area, household chemicals accessible to preschoolers, and instructors teaching without a criminal background check. These violations and others were found at Head Start centers across the country, according to a report released Tuesday by the inspector general of the Health and Human Services Department. Head Start, the federal program with roots in President Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty, provides early education services to nearly 1 million low-income kids nationwide. The federal government gives grant dollars to public, nonprofit and for-profit programs to provide the services. by Kimberly Hefling December 13, 2011 [More Results from CNS News]
Arizona Professor Banned from McDonald's, Found Disease-Causing Bacteria [VIDEO] A university professor in Arizona has been banned from eight McDonald's restaurants in her area, after she found dangerous bacteria in the children's play area. Erin Carr Jordan received a hand-delivered letter from an attorney stating that she was no longer allowed to set foot in the specified McDonald's restaurants near Phoenix. The letter also threatened her with criminal trespassing charges if she did. Carr Jordan believes she received this notice because of an incident at a McDonald's in Gilbert, AZ in which she pointed out to the manager that she found an antibiotic-resistant bacteria, called MRSA, in its PlayPlace and then warned parents at the restaurant to clean and sanitize their children's hands. by Kathy Landin October 31, 2011 [More Results from newsradio1310.com]
In Texas schools, a picture's worth 1,000 calories A $2 million project being unveiled Wednesday in the lunchroom of a Texas elementary school will use high-tech cameras to photograph what foods children pile onto their trays - and later capture what they don't finish eating. Digital imaging analysis of the snapshots will then calculate how many calories each student scarfed down. Local health officials said the program, funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant, is the first of its kind in a U.S. school, and will be so precise that the technology can identify a half-eaten pear left on a lunch tray. by Paul J. Weber May 12, 2011 [More Results from CNS News]
Universal preschool hasn't delivered results Early education advocates want you to believe that the case for universal preschool is so airtight that raising any questions about it is an act of heresy. But there is a strong and growing body of literature showing that preschool produces virtually no lasting benefits for the majority of kids. The Reason Foundation condensed most of the research and opinions that point to the disadvantages of warehousing preschoolers into one succinct article. It's a great piece to forward or print out and pass along. by Shikha Dalmia and Lisa Snell October 17, 2008 [More Results from San Francisco Chronicle]
Slate of four challengers battle four incumbents over preschool plan School board races are not often one-issue fights. Typically, candidates tend to quarrel over a combination of issues, including educational ideologies, funding priorities and labor relations. But the battle for four of five seats on the Soquel Union Elementary School District board -- one that could completely reshape the panel -- will turn, for the most part, on a single, long-smoldering controversy: Whether to build a preschool at Jade Street Park. by J.M. Brown October 9, 2008 [More Results from San Jose Mercury News]
Pre-K bill headed to Douglas' desk MONTPELIER -- Lawmakers reached a deal on the rules around state funding of early childhood education - that pitted those who want universal coverage against those who worry about increasing the cost to the education fund and the future of private nursery In the end, they split the difference. School districts will get state assistance in providing education to half of their 3- and 4-year-olds if they choose to do so. But if they provide those services to more than that number, local taxpayers will have to put up the additional money. by Louis Porter and Sarah Hinckley May 25, 2007 [More Results from Rutland Herald (VT)]
Nickelodeon consolidates preschool teams The U.S. cable channel Nickelodeon is merging creative and management teams for its 'preschool on TV' shows under one flag to be headed by Brown Johnson. Noggin -- the commercial-free educational channel for preschoolers, is merging with Nick Jr., part of the Nickelodeon programming channel that takes over Nickelodeon every weekday morning for the under-5 set. by James Wray and Ulf Stabe December 7, 2006 [More Results from Smallscreen]
Full-day option for all, but where will kids learn? Daniels' proposal would phase in plan over 3 years, but educators say it lacks cash for extra space, resources The plan unveiled by the governor Tuesday to expand full-day kindergarten includes money for more teachers, but educators and lawmakers worry because it includes nothing to build the hundreds of needed classrooms. by Staci Hupp and Mary Beth Schneider December 6, 2006 [More Results from IndyStar]
Let's Walk before We Run: Cautionary Advice on Childcare Ottawa and the provinces should use their spending powers to ensure access to reasonable quality childcare programs for "at risk" children, rather than launch universal childcare, says a Commentary released today by the C.D. Howe Institute. Childcare programs targeted on disadvantaged families could generate significant benefits, says the paper, Let's Walk before We Run: Cautionary Advice on Childcare, by John Richards, Professor, Public Policy Program, at Simon Fraser University and Matthew Brzozowski, Assistant Professor, Economics, at the University of Western Ontario. While studies show childcare programs benefit children from low-income or single-parent families, who are likely to be disadvantaged in terms of preparation for formal schooling, the net benefits for children from stable, middle-class homes are doubtful, according to the study. Why do "at risk" children clearly benefit? Evidence from US studies suggests that benefits are a function of the gap between the quality of the childcare centre and the home as a learning environment. by John Richards and Matthew Brzozowski August 11, 2006 [More Results from C.D. Howe Institute [pdf]]
I was wrong: Schools should raise our kids The Scottsdale Unified School District is going to spend $535,000 for additional counselors, which proves once and for all that schools have become a substitute for parents when it comes to raising children. It's humiliating and embarrassing for me to admit this, but I've been wrong all these years about public education in general and the Scottsdale Unified School District in particular. Clearly, government schools are more effective than parents in raising children. What else can explain the fact that most Arizonans are in favor of free all-day kindergarten? Or how about the fact that no one seems to think it's peculiar that SUSD is going to spend $535,000 for additional counselors. by Craig J. Cantoni July 8, 2006 [More Results from The Arizona Republic]
Is Universal Preschool Beneficial? An Assessment of RAND Corporation's Analysis and Proposals for California Almost two-thirds of California families currently choose to send their 4-year-olds to preschool.Of those who do, almost half choose a preschool program operated by the state of California, while the other half choose a privately operated preschool. If Proposition 82, an initiative on the June ballot, is implemented those figures will radically change. Most family- and other privately owned preschools will vanish, replaced by government-run, taxpayer-funded preschools. This report assesses RAND Corporation's cost benefit analysis and finds that it significantly overestimates the upsides and drastically underestimates the downsides of universal preschool and the California proposal. Using RAND's own data and alternative assumptions based on the studies they reference, it is easy to demonstrate that universal preschool generates losses of 25 to 30 cents for every dollar spent. by Christopher F. Cardiff and Edward Stringham May 30, 2006 [More Results from Reason Foundation [pdf]]
Announcing New Website: Tykes On Trikes One size does not fit all children. Government needs to stay out of preschools. Help Stop the War on Toddlers! Join the Preschool Boycott scheduled for Election Day, Tuesday, June 6th! You've heard what politicians, teachers, big business and law enforcement have to say about California's Proposition 82: The Preschool For All Act. Now it's time to hear what we, the preschoolers themselves, have to say! by Sandy Vester May 29, 2006 [More Results from Tykes On Trikes]
Doubts cast on preschool proposal Under attack from political opponents, Gov. Rod Blagojevich acknowledged Sunday that it won't be easy to push through his proposal to create the most expansive state preschool program in the nation. Nevertheless, "we will roll up our sleeves and we will fight," Blagojevich said in announcing his "Preschool for All" initiative, which would offer state-paid pre-kindergarten to all 3- and 4-year-olds, regardless of family income. by Diane Rado and Rick Pearson February 13, 2006 [More Results from Chicago Tribune]
Campaign 2006: 'Meathead' Is at It Again LOS ANGELES -- Celebrities with a social conscience are a growing breed in Hollywood. But it would be nice if they'd stick to whales and landmines and leave our children alone. Unfortunately, California parents have no such luck. Movie director turned child advocate Rob Reiner--best known for playing the role of "Meathead" on "All in the Family"--recently acquired a million signatures to put his Preschool for All initiative on the California ballot next June, his second attempt to launch a "universal" preschool program. The initiative would impose a 1.7% income tax on couples making over $800,000 a year ($400,000 for individuals) to offer three hours of free preschool for all the state's 4-year-olds. by Shikha Dalmia and Lisa Snell December 11, 2005 [More Results from Opinion Journal - The Wall Street Journal]
Public school for 4-year-olds coming soon Next fall, Onalaska will join the rising ranks of school districts that offer 4-year-old kindergarten, and Holmen might not be far behind. According to the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, almost half of the school districts in the state have 4K programs, although those school districts only account for half of the state's 4-year-olds. This fall, seven school districts added 4K programs - Bloomer, Kiel, Monroe, New Glarus, Eau Claire, Park Falls and Stanley/Boyd - and next fall there will be at least one more: Onalaska. by Randy Erickson December 2, 2005 [More Results from Onalaska Community Life (WI)]
Reiner Steals From Children Six years after actor-director Rob Reiner won voter approval in 1998 for a 50-cent-a-pack cigarette tax, millions of dollars raised by the measure in LA County have been spent on travel and administration but the universal preschool program it was suppose A recent state audit found the commission had only spent 15 percent of its funds. Since its creation in 1999, the commission has received $820 million in tobacco tax revenues. Similar problems have arisen elsewhere in the state. by Troy Anderson November 16, 2005 [More Results from Smokers Club Inc]
UK Proposes Mandatory Preschool from Birth LONDON, - A proposed law to mandate that all children enter preschool from birth is being debated by UK lawmakers. Introducing the bill, Children's Minister Beverley Hughes said the program would provide "integrated care and education from birth. We want to establish a coherent framework that defines progression for young children from nought to five." by Terry Vanderheyden November 11, 2005 [More Results from LifeSite]
Preschool Damages Children's Social Skills and Emotional Development BERKELEY - Preschool has a negative effect on a child's social and emotional development, according to a study of 14,000 US preschool children. The new research from University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University, found that the social skills of white, middle-class children suffer - in terms of cooperation, sharing and engagement in classroom tasks - after attending preschool centers for more than six hours a day, compared to similar children who remain at home with a parent prior to starting school. by Terry Vanderheyden November 10, 2005 [More Results from Life Site (CA)]
Study: Preschool Kids Drive Flu Epidemics When the flu strikes, preschool kids may be the first age group affected, passing the flu on to other people, a new study shows. If so, vaccinating 3- and 4-year-olds against flu might help curb flu epidemics, write researchers in the American Journal of Epidemiology. by Miranda Hitti October 1, 2005 [More Results from FOX News]
Parenting, parenthood and child care resources Public School Reform Efforts Push Pre-K to Step Up the Pace Preschool isn't what it used to be. Joining the picture books, puppets, crayons and dollhouses in a pre-kindergarten classroom these days are carefully planned strategies to teach kids reading, math and even science skills. by Judy Molland July 12, 2005 [More Results from Parenthood.com]