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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.

Study: kindergarten does not help Enrolling students in kindergarten and other early education programs may have little effect on their future success, according to a new study by economics professor Elizabeth Cascio. The study analyzed the relative success of students born between 1954 and 1978 in 24 states that began funding universal kindergarten programs after 1960. The sample included students who attended elementary school before and after the implementation of kindergarten programs, according to the study. by Stephen Kirkpatrick March 8, 2010 [More Results from The Dartmouth]
Nation's top rated pre-k program comes to Alabama Governor Bob Riley announced Tuesday that 27 classrooms have been selected to become First Class Pre-K sites. The total number of children being served by the pre-kindergarten program increases to 3,808. Fifteen of the 27 classrooms are receiving Pre-K Excellence Grants in the amount of $45,000 each. These grants enable classrooms to meet Alabama's high quality pre-K standards, which are rated the best by the National Institute for Early Education Research. The remaining 12 classrooms are receiving Pre-K State Supported Slots of at least $45,000, with additional funding based on the number of low-income and middle-income children served. by Mark Wilder July 8, 2009 [More Results from WSFA 12 News]
Sugary Drinks Fattening Up Preschoolers Sweet drinks at snack time and before bed are widening preschoolers' waistlines, a new study shows. Canadian researchers found that 2- to 4-year-olds who regularly drank sugar-sweetened beverages such as soft drinks and fruit drinks between meals were more than twice as likely to be overweight at age 4 1/2, compared to kids who didn't drink these beverages. by Juhie Bhatia June 25, 2009 [More Results from ABC News]
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]
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]
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]
Yuma Pre-School Closes Amid Controversy The closure of Whiz Kidz Pre-School on 24th Street happened both suddenly and swiftly yesterday as it faced mounting pressure from the Arizona Department of Health Services. Investigators issued three citations to the school due to lack of proper oversight. According to the ADHS website, the facility failed to address overcrowding issues inside classrooms, did not give children access to water and the teachers were not professionally dressed. September 18, 2008 [More Results from KYMA Channel 11 News]
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]
Old-Fashioned Play Builds Serious Skills On October 3, 1955, the Mickey Mouse Club debuted on television. As we all now know, the show quickly became a cultural icon, one of those phenomena that helped define an era. What is less remembered but equally, if not more, important, is that another transformative cultural event happened that day: The Mattel toy company began advertising a gun called the "Thunder Burp." by Alix Spiegel February 24, 2008 [More Results from The Angry Gnome]
New Study Identifies Three Ways To Lower Pre-K Expulsion Rates The new study identifies ways policymakers can reduce expulsion rates. It is based on data from the National Prekindergarten Survey of 4,800 classrooms in the 40 states that fund prekindergarten. January 10, 2008 [More Results from The Pew Charitable Trusts]
Edwards' education plan leaves out full-day kindergarten Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards wants universal preschool for the nation's 4-year-olds,... ...but the education plan he debuted last week does not address full-day kindergarten, the issue that has dominated education debate in Nevada. by Anjeanette Damon September 25, 2007 [More Results from Reno Gazette-Journal]
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)]
As States Tackle Poverty, Preschool Gets High Marks It took a well-orchestrated campaign to put pre-K on the top of political agendas -- and new tactics that didn't rely on do-gooder rhetoric. "The current full-scale Head Start program is having a disappointing impact on kids," says Douglas Besharov of the conservative American Enterprise Institute. "Pre-K is an important part of the tool chest for reducing the achievement gap...but will the return on investment be as great as people say? I don't think so." by Debirah Solomon August 9, 2007 [More Results from The Wall Street Journal]
The Evidence Shows 'Success' Fades WASHINGTON -- The senator who wrote "It Takes a Village" apparently believes it takes the federal government to decide how American families prepare their 4-year-olds for kindergarten. Evaluations of early education interventions have shown that while participating students may yield gains in the short-run, these benefits typically disappear over time. Other academic studies, such as a 2005 study published by Stanford and University of California researchers, have reported that students who attend preschool may be more likely to exhibit negative social behaviors. June 24, 2007 [More Results from The Free Lance-Star (VA)]
When Should a Kid Start Kindergarten? According to the apple-or-coin test, used in the Middle Ages, children should start school when they are mature enough for the delayed gratification and abstract reasoning involved in choosing money over fruit. In 15th- and 16th-century Germany, parents were told to send their children to school when the children started to act "rational." And in contemporary America, children are deemed eligible to enter kindergarten according to an arbitrary date on the calendar known as the birthday cutoff... by Elizabeth Weil June 3, 2007 [More Results from The New York Times]
Plug of war Conversations on the ins and outs of pacifiers can get contentious The pacifier. Despite its name, the small plastic plug seems to rile up controversy rather than calm it. Aside from breast-feeding and circumcision, few other topics can get parents, grandparents, pediatricians and child experts so stirred up that a timeout may be in order. by Jennifer Davies May 19, 2007 [More Results from The Union Tribune (CA)]
Lawmakers quietly considering universal preschool After California's voters last June defeated a $2.3 billion universal preschool initiative, Proposition 82, the issue of early education seemed dead. But reports of its demise have proved premature. The debate over how much to spend on pre-K and for which kids is now in the hands of the state politicians, and the issue will resurface this week when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger releases his revised 2008 budget. by David L. Kirp May 7, 2007 [More Results from San Jose Mercury News (CA)]
Study Says Preschool Child Care Affects Vocabulary, Behavior Later Children who got quality child care before entering kindergarten had better vocabulary scores in the fifth grade than did youngsters who received lower-quality care. Also, the more time that children spent in child care, the more likely their sixth-grade teachers were to report problem behavior. The findings come from the largest study of child care and development conducted in the United States. March 26, 2007 [More Results from The Washington Post]
Poor Behavior Is Linked to Time in Day Care A report from the largest study of American child care finds that keeping a preschooler in a day care for a year or more increased the likelihood that the child would become disruptive in class - the effect persisted through sixth-grade. Every year spent in day care centers for at least 10 hours per week was associated with a 1 percent higher score on a standardized assessment of problem behaviors completed by teachers, said Dr. Margaret Burchinal, a co-author of the study and a psychologist at the University of North Carolina. by Benedict Carey March 26, 2007 [More Results from The New York Times]
Hispanic Children Gain an Academic Edge When Their Education Starts Early The National Task Force on Early Childhood Education for Hispanics released a national report, Para Nuestros Ninos: Expanding and Improving Early Education for Hispanics. The Task Force on Early Childhood Education for Hispanics, along with the California Community Foundation and Los Angeles Universal Preschool, will address educators and community leaders at a briefing this morning to reveal key findings and recommendations. by Marketwire March 19, 2007 [More Results from Sys-Con Media]
Ratings and pilots are advised for state preschool programs A rating system for pre-K programs and pilot preschools in six communities were two recommendations made to the governor Wednesday by a group looking into kindergarten for all 4-year-olds in the state. The Start Strong Council, a group of 25 legislators, business leaders, educators and early childhood advocates, was created by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine. One of the themes of his campaign last year was making preschool available to all children in Virginia. by Amy Coutee' December 7, 2006 [More Results from The Virginian-Pilot]
Denver tots offer lesson for Ohio By approving a massive, citywide pre school initiative, Denver voters have given Ohio leaders a model to watch. Gov.-elect Ted Strickland made improving early childhood programs a major part of his campaign platform, while Cuyahoga County officials recently announced plans to launch a preschool effort next fall. December 2, 2006 [More Results from The Cleveland Plain Dealer (OH)]
Stressing Over Raising Superkids Today's parents are stressed out about their children's academic success and believe starting early is the key to achievement, according to a new poll. In fact, 54 percent of parents of children aged 2 to 5 said they had anxiety about their child's academic performance and 38 percent felt that their child was in competition with other kids. The new findings come from a telephone poll of about 1,000 parents of children aged 2 to 11 conducted in July 2006 by the National Parent and Teachers Association (PTA) in New York and the Public Broadcast Service (PBS) Parents. by Denise Mann August 12, 2006 [More Results from CBS News]
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]
Preschool Blues E.J. Dionne surveys the defeat of a recent ballot initiative to fund universal preschool in California and concludes that liberals need to face the fact that the public remains deeply skeptical of big government programs. Progressives have a lot to think about. For one thing, there remains a deep skepticism about government spending, even for the best purposes. On the same day the two propositions went down, voters in five California counties rejected sales tax increases, mostly to fund transportation projects. Attacks on tax-and-spend sound old and tired, but they still have force. by Kevin Drum June 12, 2006 [More Results from The Washington Monthly]