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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.

Let's Experiment With Universal Preschool I'm a considerable fan of early childhood education. Megan McArdle says she's tentatively in favor too, but "I am opposed to blind boosterism of such programs, the kind that confidently predicts marvelous results from thin empirical evidence. I would like to see us experiment more with these programs. But the key word here is "experiment." Which is to say we should: Try more programs....Take the programs that seem to work and scale them up to a larger group....Rinse and repeat [until we figure out what, if anything, works.] That would be the sane, sensible way to go about constructing policy in an important area. September 24, 2015 [More Results from]
924 early childhood bills introduced in state legislatures this year This year, the 50 state legislatures introduced a total of 924 early education-related proposals that included everything from statewide universal preschool to quality rating systems. Of the bills that did pass, most represented small moves toward making public preschool and early childhood care available to more students and diversifying the programs available. by Kate Schimel July 13, 2015 [More Results from]
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]
Former Livermore preschool employees testify about abuses The owners of a Livermore preschool shut down last year covered babies' faces with blankets as they slept and occasionally used those blankets to tie them to the crib, two former employees told a judge Thursday during a preliminary hearing. Lida Sharaf, 33, and her sister, Nazila Sharaf, 36, owners of Sunnyside Preschool in Livermore, were arrested in April 2013 on suspicion of child abuse after a former employee filed complaints about the facility that included swaddling infants so tightly that they could not move their arms or legs. by Karina Ioffee March 21, 2014 [More Results from]
Evaluating Universal Preschool During his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama pushed for more manufacturing and infrastructure jobs. But instead of merely seeking job training programs for adults, he called for universal preschool. Head Start is lower cost than Perry or other programs Heckman has studied, and doesn't include home visits. And while researchers are still tracking Perry students 50 years later, Heckman says there have been no long-term evaluations of Head Start. But Heckman is encouraged by proposed Head Start reforms, such as increasing teacher salaries, and the plan to match state funding for preschool programs, as long as they meet federal quality standards. by Michael Lipkin March 20, 2013 [More Results from]
Is Universal Preschool a Threat to Private and Faith Based Preschool Enrollment? What I am hearing as I talk to students at Vanguard this week is, "What effect is Universal Preschool going to have on private and faith based enrollment?" Right now all preschool teacher education requirements are pretty much equal (with the exception of Head Start schools which have raised the level of education for preschool teachers to a BA Degree).  So, parents who want their children taught with Christian values, with Christian role models, feel their children get the same academic instruction and quality of education as state preschools while benefiting in a sound Christian education. February 27, 2013 [More Results from]
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]
Everything you need to know about California's genetically modified food fight Of all the state-level initiatives on the ballot this Tuesday, few are generating as much vitriol - or advertising - as California's Proposition 37. If it passes, the law would require some genetically modified foods to be labeled as such. Those in favor, including watchdog groups and organic food companies, argue that Californians have a right to know what's in their food. Those opposed, including various food and biotechnology firms, say the law could lead to higher prices at the grocery store and hurt small businesses. More than $44 million has been spent on the "no" campaign, with giant agribusinesses such as Monsanto and Dupont donating heavily. by Brad Plumer November 4, 2012 [More Results from]
National Security And Kindergarten Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is looking for potential future additions to the United States' massive security/surveillance apparatus; her agency has begun to target kindergarten-aged children with cybersecurity training. by Sam Rolley October 30, 2012 [More Results from Personal Liberty Alerts]
Bob Kingsbury, New Hampshire Legislator, Explains Remarks Linking Kindergarten To Higher Crime A Republican lawmaker in New Hampshire explained his controversial statement last week that kindergarten leads to higher crime was based on statistics: He found a 400 percent jump in crime in towns with this early childhood education program, he claimed. Last week Rep. Bob Kingsbury (R-Laconia) told fellow Belknap County lawmakers that research he has conducted since 1996 shows a connection between the state's kindergarten program and higher crime rates, attributing it to children being taken "away from their mothers too soon." Kingsbury discussed with The Huffington Post on Tuesday his research showing a dramatic jump in crime. "The sources I have is I went to the Department of Education and got a list of kindergartens and I went to the safety department and got the crime report," he said. "In general, the towns with a kindergarten have 400 percent more crime than other towns in the same county. In every county the towns and cities with kindergarten had more crime." by John Celock July 3, 2012 [More Results from]
Early kindergarten fails to take off California's budget crisis may prevent local school districts from fully accommodating students who fall short of new kindergarten-age requirements, according to school administrators in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. Most elementary schools in Tuolumne County, and many in Calaveras County, are not planning to offer separate "transitional kindergarten" programs for students who turn 5 after Nov. 1. Previously, students who turned 5 before Dec. 2 could enter regular kindergarten classes. A state law enacted in 2010 will require schools to provide a modified, "developmentally appropriate" curriculum for students who are now too young for regular kindergarten. by Margie Hiser March 28, 2012 [More Results from]
Pre K Scholars Launches New Website Pre K Scholars has adopted a strategy that focuses on homeschoolers, parents of 3-5 year olds and preschool and kindergarten teachers seeking primary and supplemental classroom materials. Pre K Scholars began in 2008 with its Teacher Kit, a comprehensive preschool curriculum with supporting instructional materials in a box that initially sold for $800.. Its target was a former teacher turned stay at home mom who would like to teach kindergarten readiness in her home. "We built the website to support that strategy. We offered signup sheets for classes and even allowed teachers to have their own webpages within our website," reflected Schwary. March 1, 2012 [More Results from]
'I poisoned four kids' Parents who entrust their children to the care of Christian Kids Daycare are still coming to grips with what day care center owner Connie Kacir admits was "a major concern" last week when four 6-year-old children were served bleach water. Kacir, however, maintains that the children, all of whom recovered from the unexpected concoction and whose parents continue to bring their children to the center each day, were not poisoned, saying they drank nothing more dangerous than "swimming pool water." by Lynn Adams February 21, 2012 [More Results from]
Investigating healthy minds: Preschool study seeks to teach kindness When children in Kerri Lynch's preschool class get angry, they shake their "mind jars," homemade snow globes filled with water and glitter. Until the glitter settles, they don't talk, taking deep breaths instead. Instead of studying disease and disorder, researchers probe positive attributes such as compassion and contentment. The preschool study is attempting to determine whether children can be taught, in a statistically significant way, to be kinder. It is among the main research projects under way at the center, and it has hit a nerve with parents. by Doug Erickson May 18, 2011 [More Results from]
Pre-Crime? Try Pre-Diagnose and Pre-Drug: Psychiatrists target infants as mental patients A new study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry claims to be able to detect brain abnormalities associated with schizophrenia risk in infants just a few weeks old. We would like to point out the obvious flaw in this bogus study; there is no medical/scientific test in existence that schizophrenia is a physical disease or brain abnormality to start with. There is not one chemical imbalance test, X-ray, MRI or any other test for schizophrenia, not one. So with no evidence of medical abnormality to start with, the "associated with schizophrenia risk" amounts to what George Orwell called Doublespeak (language that deliberately disguises, distorts, misleads) -- it means nothing. by Loren Mosher June 23, 2010 [More Results from CCHR International]
What Happened When Kindergarten Went Universal? More than four decades after the first model preschool interventions, there is an emerging consensus that high-quality early-childhood education can improve a child's economic and social outcomes over the long term. Publicly funded kindergarten is available to virtually all children in the U.S. at age five, but access to preschool opportunities for children four years old and younger remains uneven across regions and socioeconomic groups. Parents with financial means have the option of enrolling their child in a private program at their own expense. by Elizabeth U. Cascio March 8, 2010 [More Results from Education Next]
Why nursery schools are bad for little boys It is one of life's little ironies that, just as neuroscience has confirmed the huge importance of attachment in early learning, the people who once selflessly took on the role of faithful assistants to each generation are no longer available to do the jo There has so far been little research into the emotional effects of institutionalised early care, but what there is gives cause for concern. Government researchers have noticed a "small but significant difference in a large group of children" for whom daycare led to "withdrawn, compliant or sad" behaviour or to higher levels of aggression. by Sue Palmer May 19, 2009 [More Results from Times Online]
Don't Rush to Get Onboard With Universal Preschool President Obama has pledged to spend $10 billion more a year on "zero to five" education, and his 2010 budget makes a $2 billion "down payment" on that commitment. (Billions more are already in the "stimulus" package.) Preschool is educationally effective. On the contrary, while a few tiny, costly programs targeting very poor children have shown some lasting positive effects, the overwhelming majority of studies show that most pre-K programs have little to no educational impact... by Chester E. Finn Jr. May 15, 2009 [More Results from The Washington Post]
Differences Between Obama's Education Speech And His Adminstration's Actions The president endorsed the expansion of innovative charter schools, performance pay for teachers, and the elimination of ineffective teachers. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any real legislative action planned on any of those items. Charter schools received almost no funding from the stimulus package and there was no requirement for states to remove destructive charter school caps in exchange for billions. Similarly, while he plans to fund a few teacher incentive pilot programs, President Obama missed the opportunity to tie the billions in new federal education dollars to outcomes that could result in serious personnel reform. by Lisa Snell March 18, 2009 [More Results from Reason Foundation]
Greater freedom of choice in childcare and universal preschool for three-year-olds in Sweden The Government proposes a childcare voucher system - a municipal allowance that will follow children regardless of which provider their parents choose - in Government Bill Childcare voucher system and universal preschool extended to three-year-olds. The Government approved the bill yesterday. According to the proposal, municipalities will be obliged to approve privately run preschools, out-of-school centres and alternative forms of educational care... by Government of Sweden February 7, 2009 [More Results from eGov Monitor]
Federal Spending on Education to Double, and Do Little Good Part of the "stimulus" (read: earmark-ridden, pork-barrel) package making its way through Washington D.C. these days involves federal aid to education. Lisa Snell, of the Reason Foundation, takes a look at the money and finds little good. The stimulus package will spend more than double the current total federal education budget, bringing federal funding of education to well over $200 billion. 70 percent of 4-year-olds are already enrolled in preschool... January 30, 2009 [More Results from Kansas Education]
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]
Wall Street Bailout: What Else Can $700 Billion Buy? A while back the New York Times was concerned about the cost of the Iraq War and published some estimates of what else we could have bought with that money. We didn't find that very interesting at the time, but now, while trying to wrap our minds around just how effing huge the $700 billion proposed bailout of Wall Street really is. For $35 Billion you can get universal preschool. Half-days for 3-year-olds and full days for 4-year-olds. September 24, 2008 [More Results from The Consumerist]
Who should prepare kids for kindergarten? Georgia already offers universal pre-kindergarten for 4-year-olds and there has been talk about expanding the program to 3-year-olds. Some argue the state shouldn't teach more children until it can provide quality education to its k-12 students. They question why the state should get involved when part of the problem comes from poor parenting. by Laura Diamond March 31, 2008 [More Results from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
Kaine Trims Pre-K Proposal RICHMOND -- Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine on Thursday scrapped his campaign promise to provide universal access to pre-kindergarten. Announcing that he will instead push to more than double the number of underprivileged 4-year-olds eligible for early education at the state's expense. In his 2005 bid for governor, Kaine promised to pay for preschool without regard to a parent's income. by Tim Craig August 17, 2007 [More Results from The Washington Post (VA)]