Tag Archives: low-income children

Krista Kafer Says Take Another Look at the Facts about Preschool

With her column published yesterday, Independence Institute senior fellow and Face The State columnist Krista Kafer drops a fly or two into the early childhood education debate soup: In Colorado, taxpayers spend $29 million a year on state preschool programs. Denver voters passed a sales tax in 2006 to subsidize preschool. According to a Denver Post article by Jeremy P. Meyer, 3,650 students receive subsidies. James Mejia, director of the Denver Preschool Program, told Meyer that “Studies show that for every dollar you spend on early childhood education, you will get back $10 to $12 in services you would otherwise be spending on social services, incarceration, remediation.” Sounds great, but upon closer examination, this just isn’t true. The cost-benefit analyses routinely bandied about by advocates come up short. The analysis is largely based on exaggerated claims from a tiny subset of studies misrepresented as the whole. When the vast majority of research is considered, it becomes clear that preschool does not reap the amazing benefits touted by advocates. Four decades of legitimate research actually shows that the majority of low-income children experience only short-term positive impacts and there is little long-term impact from preschool participation. Research also shows that preschool […]


Phoenix's Millennium Worldwide Academy Sets Bar High for 5-Year-Olds

A lot of my Education Policy Center friends have been on the road this week at something called the State Policy Network conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. Okay, so I don’t exactly get what it’s all about, they told me about a visit they had yesterday to a couple of excellent schools in the area. I’m only going to talk about the one today, because it seems this Millennium Worldwide Academy in south Phoenix has a pretty special approach to educating kids in my age group. No, it’s not in Colorado, but maybe there are some school leaders or entrepreneurs looking to start a school who could learn a thing or two from Ms. Kelmer and her success with helping low-income kids from preschool to 4th grade. My Education Policy Center friends said they were amazed to watch the knowledge put on display. They heard about the “Are You Smarter than a Kindergartener?” challenge. Not too many adults could name all 43 U.S. Presidents in order like the small group of 5-year-old children at Millennium Worldwide Academy did yesterday. The older kids knew the planets in our solar system and their distances from the Sun, as well as had a solid […]