Tag Archives: overblown

Obama Speaks to Schoolchildren: Private School Choice is the Answer

Yesterday I wrote about President Obama’s plan to address schoolchildren across America next Tuesday. I got so much response, I thought a quick follow-up was in order. Some of the concerns undoubtedly are overblown, though the hubris embodied in the original lesson plans presented to the public was genuinely disturbing. Even if the substance of the message is essentially good (e.g., stay in school, personal responsibility, etc.), some parents may feel that is usurping their role. But the Obama speech in that sense is no isolated incident. One has to ask the parents who feel this way why they continue to send their child to the public school system. Anyway, the White House since has backtracked from the political gaffe and revised the lesson plans, but much of the damage already has been done. But still plenty of good can come from this whole scenario, if parents pay heed to the principal lesson explained by Adam Schaeffer at the Cato Institute: But this problem didn’t begin with Obama and won’t end with him. Politics in the schools is what we get when the government runs our schools. Don’t want your kids indoctrinated by government bureaucrats, special interests, or the President? […]

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Universal Preschool Promises Like Harold Hill's Shiny New Trombones

I was never really big into the whole preschool thing. My parents decided not to enroll me anywhere before kindergarten. So maybe I’m biased a little bit, but the piece “Does Universal Preschool Improve Learning? Lessons from Georgia and Oklahoma” by Lindsey Burke of the Heritage Foundation really shoots holes in many of the arguments for expanding early childhood education. Apparently, the idea that universal preschool gives kids an accelerated start into improved learning just doesn’t bear out on any large scale. Especially when you look at the Sooner State (and I think you ought to look at it sooner rather than later): More than a decade after offering students uni­versal preschool, neither Oklahoma nor Georgia has shown impressive progress in students’ academic achievement, as measured by the National Assess­ment of Educational Progress. In fact, in Oklahoma, fourth-grade reading test scores have declined since 1998 when the state first implemented universal preschool. Say what? Well, I guess you shouldn’t be too surprised — if you’ve been following what I say for any length of time. Like several months ago, when I pointed out what the brilliant Krista Kafer said about the overblown promises of government preschool pushers. They may not […]

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