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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 Science of the Great Molasses Flood In 1919 a wave of syrup swept through the streets of Boston. Fluid dynamics explains why it was even more devastating than a typical tsunami. "Send all available rescue vehicles and personnel immediately," he yelled, "there's a wave of molasses coming down Commercial Street!" More than 7.5 million liters of molasses surged through Boston's North End at around 55 kilometers per hour in a wave about 7.5 meters high and 50 meters wide at its peak. All that thick syrup ripped apart the cylindrical tank that once held it, throwing slivers of steel and large rivets in all directions. The deluge crushed freight cars, tore Engine 31 firehouse from its foundation and, when it reached an elevated railway on Atlantic Avenue, nearly lifted a train right off the tracks. by Ferris Jabr January 15, 2014 [More Results from]
Why Universal Pre-K Is a Step Backwards Obama's call for universal preschool access, one of the few concrete proposals in an otherwise bland State of the Union Address, was the culmination of an idea inspired by the success of programs like the Perry Preschool Program. There has been some research to suggest that children who attend preschool regularly go on to lead more successful lives than those who don't, even when socioeconomic factors are accounted for. In response to the President's State of the Union speech, the WSJ took a look at Oklahoma, one of the first states to roll out state-funded preschools, to see how their program is actually faring. March 10, 2013 [More Results from]
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]
Let children be children | Is your 5-year-old stressed out because so much is expected? We've just finished test time again in the schools of California. The mad frenzy of testing infects everyone from second grade through high school. For 30 years as a teacher of primary kids, I have operated on the Any Fool Can See principle. And any fool can see that the spread between what is developmentally appropriate for 7- and 8-year-old children and what is demanded of them on these tests is widening. A lot of what used to be in the first-grade curriculum is now taught in kindergarten. Is your 5-year-old stressed out? Perhaps this is why. by Penelope H. Bevan June 13, 2007 [More Results from San Francisco Chronicle (CA)]
Proposition 82 / Preschool supporters aren't giving up on their quest Preschool advocates plan to continue fighting to increase quality and expand access to preschool, they said Wednesday, despite the resounding defeat of Proposition 82. In 13 counties, including San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Los Angeles, advocates already are implementing publicly funded preschool, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed $100 million in next year's budget to increase preschool opportunities for 4-year-olds from low-income families. "We're in this for the long haul ... and we'll work locally and at the state level," said Maryann O'Sullivan, founder of Preschool California, an advocacy group. "People are very committed and saying we need another strategy." by Janine DeFao June 8, 2006 [More Results from San Francisco Chronicle (CA)]
CALIFORNIA / UC study examines preschool benefits / By third grade, no difference shown among students As proponents of universal preschool in California kicked off their campaign with news of an upbeat poll, a study on the lasting effects of preschool indicates many of its benefits may wear off by the time students reach third grade. The University of California study, parts of which will be released today at a Sacramento conference, focuses on non-English-speaking children who went to preschool. Students who had gone to preschool gained a head start on literacy and language skills that gave them a leg up through third grade, according to the study by UC Santa Barbara professor Russell Rumberger, director of the UC Linguistic Minority Research Institute. by Ilene Lelchuk January 28, 2006 [More Results from San Francisco Chronicle (CA)]
Universal preschool is inviting universal disaster Ideas that seem great in theory are often a disaster in practice. California's Preschool for All initiative being pushed by director-turned-child advocate Rob Reiner is just such an idea. This is not mere ivory-tower doom-mongering. This is what a sober assessment of a similar universal day care program in Quebec suggests. The arguments Reiner and San Francisco child care advocates make are identical to the ones made in Quebec eight years ago. The final price tag for Quebec's day care program is 33 times what was originally projected: It was supposed to cost $230 million over five years, but now gobbles $1.7 billion every year. by Shikha Dalmia, Lisa Snell December 4, 2005 [More Results from San Francisco Chronicle]
Preschool study finds bright side, dark side / It helps language, math -- can hurt social development As taxpayers, parents and educators debate the value of preschool for every child, a new study by UC Berkeley and Stanford finds for the first time that middle-class children -- receive a boost in language and math skills from preschool. But its darker findings bolster earlier, more controversial conclusions that preschool can hinder social development. The study, "How much is too much' The Influence of Preschool Centers on Children's Development Nationwide," was released today and comes as Hollywood movie director Rob Reiner leads a group of universal preschool advocates pushing for a June 2006 ballot measure that would tax the wealthiest Californians to fund preschool for all who want it. by Carrie Sturrock November 1, 2005 [More Results from San Francisco Chronicle (CA)]
Program Benefits Homeschool Families with Kindergarten, Preschool Lesson Plans EDMONTON, ALBERTA, CANADA -- Kindergarten and preschool lesson plans are now available to homeschoolers and parents who want to help their children with early reading skills. The program focuses on reading and writing skills. The lesson plans also inspire creativity and draw from a wide variety of subject areas from the traditional preschool and kindergarten curriculum. by David M. Bresnahan October 10, 2005 [More Results from American Chronicle]
Preschool for All plan put into action California Gathered last week in front of a blue banner with big letters reading "Preschool for All," actor-turned-preschool advocate Rob Reiner and a bevy of San Francisco bigwigs kicked off the enrollment season for the city's new preschool program. The goal is for all 4-year-olds in the city to have the opportunity to attend a free, high-quality preschool within five years, regardless of their families' income levels. The launch involves $3.3 million in city funds supporting 1,000 children at 22 preschool programs clustered in Visitacion Valley, the Excelsior, the Mission and Bayview.

Reiner -- joined by Supervisor Tom Ammiano, District Attorney Kamala Harris and Board of Education members Jill Wynns and Norman Yee -- said investing in early-childhood education will have a tremendous ripple effect in the future, with lower crime rates and an improved economy.
by Heather Knight July 15, 2005 [More Results from The San Francisco Chronicle (CA)]