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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.

Preschool helps kids improve their German Clap your hands and stomp your feet. Turn around. Touch the ground. Now, do it in German. Too kompliziert (complicated)? It's a breeze for kids in KinderZoo. The German-based preschool is similar to any other, except that students and/or their parents are native German speakers. Kids sing, dance, play, tell stories and do art projects while speaking German. by Amanda Daniels April 21, 2005 [More Results from San Diego Union-Tribune (CA)]
Hard-charging high schools urge students to do less Sprawling across two huge campuses in Chicago's affluent northern suburbs, the venerable New Trier High School is usually cited as the epitome of public-school excellence. New Trier, like a number of large, high-performing schools, is beginning to acknowledge that a culture of excellence can have a dark side, and that the push to craft gilded college applications can bring on stress and overscheduling. Now the school - considered a stalwart of traditional education - is rethinking everything from its schedule to class rank and weighted GPAs in an effort to alleviate pressure. by Amanda Paulson March 21, 2005 [More Results from The Christian Science Monitor (IL)]
Public schools follow the market, pitch all-day kindergarten | csmonitor.com It's a working parent's dream - kindergartens competing to take your children off your hands all day, and the promise that they'll learn something, too. Competition for students has always existed between public and private schools. But open enrollment, home schooling, and a growing number of charter schools have widened parents' choices, and now public schools are facing one of their biggest competitors yet - themselves. by Tim Vanderpool March 9, 2005 [More Results from The Christian Science Monitor]
Parents go to school on giving kids a good start Police take up the cry to get all 4-year-olds into preschool. The situation in San Leandro is not unique. A statewide survey of publicly funded preschool programs found anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 children waiting for slots in either Head Start, state preschool programs or general child care - all of which serve low-income families.

Sponsored by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California, the survey included responses from about 2,800 state programs, a 48 percent response rate.
by Jill Tucker and Katy Murphy February 10, 2005 [More Results from The Daily Review (CA)]
Popping Pills in Preschool No one flinched when a child psychiatrist told a conference of parents and counselors that she had prescribed antidepressants to children as young as 3-1/2. Audience members at the San Diego conference, after all, were quite familiar with the concept of preschoolers on Prozac. Many of the parents in the audience have children who suffer from a debilitating form of shyness called selective mutism, one of a handful of mental disorders thought to strike children younger than 6. by Randy Dotinga February 5, 2005 [More Results from Wired News]
Do Pre-K Center Care Programs Work? A number of states have initiated, or are in the process of initiating, free pre-K center care programs for children from low-income families. In the case of Smart Start and Kid Stuff, the states estimate that when fully implemented, these programs will cost in excess of $300 million per year.

During the past 40 years there have been five large-scale trials conducted to investigate the relationship between pre-K and developmental outcomes in children. We will examine each of these studies to see if they support the claim that high quality pre-K contributes to the intellectual, academic, and behavioral development of children.
by Verne R. Bacharach, Ph.D., Appalachian State University; Alfred A. Baumeister, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University; Jaimily A. Stoecker, M.A., C.A.S., Caldwell County NC Public School District August 1, 2003 [More Results from Eagle Forum]
Trading Sippy-Cups for School Desks At the American Federation of Teachers' biennial conference this summer, AFT President Sandra Feldman called for a "national commitment" to schooling all 3- and 4-year-olds. At least Feldman was magnanimous enough to suggest that preschool remain voluntary. District of Columbia Councilman Kevin Chavous, on the other hand, sees no problem with forcibly taking young children from their parents. His ominously titled "Compulsory School Attendance Amendment Act" would make school, well, compulsory, for every preschool-aged child in the nation's capital. by Darcy Olsen August 14, 2001 [More Results from CATO Institute]
Don't Cry for Me, Head Start It's been 33 years since the Head Start program was founded in hopes that it would end what President Johnson described as the "pattern of poverty." Perhaps, its founders reasoned, federally subsidized early intervention could help all children enter school on an equal footing and thereby give disadvantaged children opportunities formerly reserved to the middle and upper classes. Unfortunately, the experiment has fallen short of fulfilling that hope. by Darcy Olsen and Eric Olsen August 15, 1999 [More Results from CATO Institute]
Benefits of Preschool Don't Last - Education and Child Policy In the Roald Dahl tale Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a golden ticket transforms a poor boy's life into one of opportunity and hope, precisely what Al Gore says "universal preschool" can do for all disadvantaged children. Universal preschool" is the education establishment's catchphrase for expanding the public school system to include all 3- and 4-year-olds, and Gore is making it a centerpiece of his presidential run. "If you elect me president, I will make high-quality preschool available to every child," he announced earlier this month in Denver. by Darcy Olsen August 10, 1999 [More Results from CATO Institute]
Preschool in the Nanny State - Education and Child Policy Make No Mistake: The push for universal preschool is on. Already the state of Georgia offers free preschool to every 4-year-old, and New York is phasing in a statewide system. Legislators in California, Massachusetts, and New Jersey are itching to follow suit. If Al Gore is elected president in 2000, this state-by-state expansion could be preempted by a federal mandate. As the vice president recently told a Denver audience, "If you elect me president, I will make high-quality preschool available to every child." by Darcy Olsen August 9, 1999 [More Results from CATO Institute]
Universal Preschool Is No Golden Ticket: Why Government Should Not Enter the Preschool Business Across the country legislators are deciding whether to require public school districts to provide no-fee prekindergarten classes for all three- and four-year-olds. Georgia and New York have implemented universal preschool programs for four-year-olds. Experience provides little reason to believe universal preschool would significantly benefit children, regardless of family income. For nearly 40 years, local, state, and federal governments and diverse private sources have funded early intervention programs for low-income children, and benefits to the children have been few and fleeting. There is also evidence that middle-class children gain little, if anything, from preschool. by Darcy Ann Olsen February 9, 1999 [More Results from CATO Institute]
Universal Preschool Is No Golden Ticket: Why Government Should Not Enter the Preschool Business Across the country legislators are deciding whether to require public school districts to provide no-fee prekindergarten classes for all three- and four-year-olds. Experience provides little reason to believe universal preschool would significantly benefit children, regardless of family income. For nearly 40 years, local, state, and federal governments and diverse private sources have funded early intervention programs for low-income children, and benefits to the children have been few and fleeting. by Darcy Ann Olsen February 9, 1999 [More Results from CATO Institute]