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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.

Marin Voice: Preschool not best for every kid LIVING IN MARIN COUNTY, it's easy to understand why many would agree with Amy Reisch's opinion that the "President's preschool boost should resonate in Marin." he claims that research shows a "wealth of statistics" to support the benefits of preschool. Apparently, she (and the president and his speech writers) did not read the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' final report on the Head Start Impact Study that was published recently. It said: by Julie Schiffman April 10, 2013 [More Results from]
Preschool madness drove me to homeschooling The preschool process in New York City is crazy. Kids my daughters age, 2, are already visiting with consultants, taking practice exams, and studying with interview coaches. Interview coaches. Kids who a week ago were at the playground acting like kids are now reciting over-rehearsed interview answers and studying like they're preparing for the SATs. Parents are stressed out making phone calls, filling out and paying for entrance applications, and training their kids to impress the heads of these preschools. Kids are becoming stressed out. It's ridiculous. Stressed out children who really should have nothing to be stressed about. by Rachel Figueroa-Levin March 26, 2013 [More Results from]
Hawaii Preschool Plan in Crunch as Advocates Vow to Restore Funding Gov. Neil Abercrombie's three early education proposals are sailing through the Legislature, but the money he originally proposed to pay for the initiative's first phase - the School Readiness program - got scrapped by the state House last week. Now, supporters are pinning their hopes on the Senate finance committee, which is expected to take up the budget bill Tuesday, to restore the funding. On Monday, advocates gathered at the state Capitol for an informational briefing to update the public on the early education bills and encourage supporters to testify on the budget bill Tuesday. by Alia Wong March 20, 2013 [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]
Organic Baby Food Might Not Be More Nutritious, But I'm Still Buying It Some experts are saying that organic baby food may not be more nutritious for your little one -- just more expensive. Okay, be that as it may, it can't hurt to buy organic, can it? And why does everyone hate organic food all of a sudden? I'm certainly not going to argue with a person who holds the title of "Director of Pediatric Nutrition", and I definitely think that feeding children a wide variety of foods from the start isn't just the healthy thing to do, it's the smart thing -- of course we all want kids who are willing to try different things! But when it comes to my baby, I'm sticking to organic, because that's what I think is best for her. by Nicole Fabian-Weber March 20, 2013 [More Results from]
Universal Preschool Education's Empty Promises The Obama Administration wants to establish a continuum of preschool services for children from birth through age five. As part of President Barack Obama's drive for a "cradle-to-career" government-controlled education system. In February 2013, President Obama proposed significantly increasing federal spending on early childhood education and care as part of his drive for a "cradle-to-career" government-controlled education system. A massive federal preschool expansion would further entangle Washington in the education and care of the youngest American children. Washington already has a poor track record for K-12 education, with federal spending nearly tripling over the past three decades while academic achievement languishes. Expanding federal intervention in education to include infants, toddlers, and three-year-olds and four-year olds will crowd out private preschools, increase costs for taxpayers, and fail to create lasting academic benefits for children. Moreover, this additional federal intervention will largely duplicate existing efforts, as nearly three-quarters of four-year-olds are already enrolled in some form of preschool. by Lindsey Burke March 13, 2013 [More Results from]
A push for universal preschool After watching President Obama's State of the Union Address last month one issue really stuck out in my mind - the issue of having a universal preschool policy for all American children. This is an issue that will affect many Minnesotans as Minnesota is known to have a ever increasing achievement gap between white students and students of color. By implementing a universal preschool policy, many children would get the necessary pre-K education that they need in order to be at the same level as their peers who were able to attend a quality preschool program before entering kindergarten. by Cathy Komjathy March 13, 2013 [More Results from]
Universal preschool: Good idea, hard to do Local school officials support President Barack Obama's proposal for universal preschool, but say they have no money or space to make it happen. In his State of the Union address Feb. 12, Obama called for quality preschool education for every child in the nation. Increasing preschool attendance would reduce teen pregnancy and violent crime and increase the rate of high school graduation, while bridging the gap between disadvantaged and middle-class children, the president said. by Rebecca Layne March 13, 2013 [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]
Psychology: Homeschooling offers viable option for many Kendall's mom began to suspect that her daughter might have difficulties with the traditional school setting when she saw how overwhelmed she felt by her preschool environment. It was clear that Kendall was an introvert who was often content to sit and read or play by herself for much of the day. She found the transition from her quiet home with just her mom, dad and younger sister into a classroom filled with 19 other active 4-year-olds to be too stressful. While her mom hoped that interaction with other kids in the class would help to improve Kendall's social skills, it became more evident that sensory overload and general anxiety were preventing her from succeeding. Her mom was already wondering if preschool would help Kendall academically because she had shown a strong aptitude for reading and was fluent at a first-grade level. So when the time came to enroll Kendall in all-day kindergarten, her mom thought about different options and decided to try homeschooling instead. Rather than risk further stress to her daughter and the possibility of her regressing academically, she felt that homeschooling offered the best choice for her individual needs. by Scott Smith February 27, 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]
HHS: Head Start Students Do Worse in Math Than Non-Head Start Students Children who were in the federal Head Start program do worse in math and have more problems with social interaction by the third grade than children who were not in the program, according to a large-scale study by the U.S. Department of HHS. The congressionally mandated study evaluated 4,667 elementary students. The main conclusion is that overall, the $8 billion Head Start program provides no measurable benefit for children by the time they reach the third grade compared to the sampling of children in similar economic circumstances who were not in the program, referred to as the "control group" in the study. "In summary, there were initial positive impacts from having access to Head Start, but by the end of 3rd grade there were very few impacts found for either cohort in any of the four domains of cognitive, social-emotional, health and parenting practices," the HHS study said. "The few impacts that were found did not show a clear pattern of favorable or unfavorable impact on children." by Fred Lucas February 27, 2013 [More Results from CNS News]
Eugenics & 4 Year Olds - Invasion Of The Body Snatchers How many ways can the statists take away your life and liberty? At this point it is becoming harder and harder to count them all. From healthcare to education, from housing to food, the Federal government, under the dictatorship of Barack Obama, is in the process of taking everything in your life out of your hands. I have read that the "Affordable Health Care Act" contains language to allow the state to demand your organs upon your death without your consent. Not at all sure that is so, but if Mayor Bloomberg can mandate what you can't buy to drink and can restrict the use of salt, is there any limit to what the government can and can't do with your body? February 21, 2013 [More Results from]
Facing the Screen Dilemma: Young Children, Technology and Early Education Did you know: that on any given day, 64% of babies between 1 and 2 watch TV and videos for an average of slightly over 2 hours; that in 2011 there were 3 million downloads just of Fisher Price apps for infants and toddlers. Research tells us that developing children thrive when they are talked to, read to, played with and given time for creative play, physically active play, and interactions with other children and adults. And there's no research showing the benefits of introducing children to new technologies in the first years of life. Yet educators face increasing pressure to increase the amount of time children spend with digital technologies in early childhood settings, taking valuable time and resources away from activities proven to benefit learning and development. February 21, 2013 [More Results from]
FYI, Minimum Wage Hikes and Universal Preschool are Proven Failures President Barack Obama's State of the Union address last week was the lowest rated since Bill Clinton's swansong in 2000. If you feel it's hard to get excited about the rubbish this guy continues to peddle, you're not alone. Among the tedious list of bromides and half-truths, two objectives seem to stand out in Obama's speech - raising the minimum wage to $9.00 per hour, and establishing a universal preschool entitlement. I wish I could say it's not often the POTUS advocates policies that are unsupported by available evidence. Since I can't say that, let's review the evidence that shows minimum wage hikes and government preschool are bad ideas. by Enrique February 21, 2013 [More Results from]
McClaughry: Shumlin's universal preschool fantasy Politicians know that repeating a statement time and again, and evading or brushing off any challenge to its truthfulness, can make themselves leaders of public opinion - and thus more able to achieve their political objectives. Perhaps the most glaring current example of this practice is Gov. Peter Shumlin's repeated declaration that $1 spent now on universal preschool education saves the taxpayers anywhere from $7 to $14 "down the road." President Obama also repeated that 7:1 claim in his State of the Union address, where he, like Shumlin, called for more billions in preschool expenditures. by John McClaughry February 21, 2013 [More Results from]
The Shaky Science Behind Obama's Universal Pre-K "Study after study shows that the earlier a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road," said U.S. President Barack Obama in Feb. 14 speech in Decatur, Georgia. Obama wants to help our nation's children flourish. So do I. So does everyone who is aware of the large number of children who are not flourishing. There are just two problems with his solution: The evidence used to support the positive long-term effects of early childhood education is tenuous, even for the most intensive interventions. And for the kind of intervention that can be implemented on a national scale, the evidence is zero. by Charles Murray February 21, 2013 [More Results from]
Obama's 29 New Programs Include Energy Security Trust and Preschool for All Here, in President Barack Obama's words, are 29 new programs he proposed in his State of the Union Address, while asserting he would not increase the federal deficit by a "single dime" February 12, 2013 [More Results from CNS News]
New Entitlement: Liberal Think Tank Linked to Obama Produces Preschool-for-All Plan Days before President Barack Obama outlines his agenda for the coming year, a think tank with close ties to the White House is outlining a plan that would provide preschool for all children within five years. The Center for American Progress proposal, released Thursday, provides a road map for how the Obama administration could move forward with pre-kindergarten programs for all 3- and 4-year-olds. For families with younger children, federal subsidies for child care would increase to an average $7,200 per child and the number of students in Early Head Start programs would double. "We're trying to ensure all children are ready to learn when they get to school," said Neera Tanden, the president and CEO of the think tank and a former top policy official in the Obama administration. "Investing in early learning and pre-K is the best investment that we can make. The return on investment is significant." by Philip Elliott February 6, 2013 [More Results from CNS News]
Head Start's sad and costly secret Since its inception in1965, taxpayers have spent more than $180 billion on the program. But HHS’ latest Head Start Impact Study found taxpayers aren’t getting a good return on this “investment.” According to the congressionally-mandated report, Head Start has little to no impact on cognitive, social-emotional, health, or parenting practices of its participants. In fact, on a few measures, access to the program actually produced negative effects. by Lindsey M. Burke January 14, 2013 [More Results from Fox News]
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]
The Early Education Racket It wouldn't be New York if preschool admissions, or any admissions, were easy. But yearlong pre-preschool stress-fests are now sweeping the nation, with upper-middle-class parents ranking schools and agonizing over which educational "philosophy" is right. It's hard to tease out the effects of preschool on a child. Part of the problem is self-selection: Compared with kids who skip preschool, kids who attend usually have more well-to-do, encouraging parents who read and do puzzles with them at home. Children who don't go to preschool are usually from more disadvantaged families, which means they watch lots of TV and are yelled at more than they are praised, which some researchers believe can stunt cognitive development. by Melinda Wenner Moyer December 6, 2012 [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]
Ethiopian kids hack OLPCs in 5 months with zero instruction What happens if you give a thousand Motorola Zoom tablet PCs to Ethiopian kids who have never even seen a printed word? Within five months, they'll start teaching themselves English while circumventing the security on your OS to customize settings and activate disabled hardware. Whoa. The One Laptop Per Child project started as a way of delivering technology and resources to schools in countries with little or no education infrastructure, using inexpensive computers to improve traditional curricula. What the OLPC Project has realized over the last five or six years, though, is that teaching kids stuff is really not that valuable. Yes, knowing all your state capitols how to spell "neighborhood" properly and whatnot isn't a bad thing, but memorizing facts and procedures isn't going to inspire kids to go out and learn by teaching themselves, which is the key to a good education. Instead, OLPC is trying to figure out a way to teach kids to learn, which is what this experiment is all about. by Evan Ackerman October 31, 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]