A major component of President Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan was a $200 billion universal pre-K entitlement plan that would have replicated the 1965 early childhood plan for low-income kids called Head Start. After decades of trial and error, government studies showed that Head Start provided “no discernable advantage in elementary school performance” for attendees.
As government often does, the federal government doubled-down and began “early Head Start” designed to provide “school readiness” for infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers.
And now we have President Biden’s $200 billion universal pre-K plan back again – designed to appeal to those who solve problems by throwing gobs of money at a problem rather than studying the results of previous experiments in pre-K education. Liberals in Congress are trying to resurrect the universal pre-K program from the plan. Before they do so, they might want to talk to scholars at Vanderbilt University. They’ve been studying a random sample of 2,990 low-income students from Tennessee who were enrolled in a state-funded pre-K program.
The results? “Low-income children who attended a state-pre-K program fared worse in sixth grade than similar children who didn’t.” And it wasn’t just in scholastic achievement. “A negative effect was also found for disciplinary infractions, attendance, and receipt of special education services, with null effects on retention.”
The rigorous Tennessee program was designed by education “experts” who spent over a decade designing this program to meet “nine out of 10 national quality benchmarks” in education.
Let’s hope Minnesota lawmakers keep this in mind as Gov. Walz attempts to spend gobs of the $7.7 billion dollar “surplus” on a universal pre-K plan designed by Education Minnesota, for Education Minnesota.
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