Tag Archives: Preschool

Obama Speaks to Schoolchildren … Where's the Real Local Control?

Update 5, 9/8: The speech that went off today, and the lesson plans that accompanied it, were a lot less creepy and controversial than the original release. Who knows how much the uproar had an effect on that? Anyway, I commend to you two thoughtful perspectives on the whole episode: by Jay Greene at Education Next and by coolreformchick at Edspresso. The good news about the President addressing schoolchildren across the nation? At least this time Congress won’t start an inquiry into it. Update 4, 9/4: I have gathered and posted numerous responses from Colorado teachers and schools to Obama’s address to schoolchildren. Also, my Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow explains what he told Denver Post reporter Jeremy Meyer that didn’t end up being quoted in today’s story. Update 3, 9/3: Westword blogger Michael Roberts noticed me!! I’m glad he likes my sense of humor. I have a 5-year-old kid crush on him now …. Hope he also reads my latest on this topic. Update 2: Jim Geraghty notes that the Department of Education has reworded the teacher’s guide to make it less offensive. A good idea … you think? Meanwhile, Douglas County School District south of Denver, the […]

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Rocky Mountain Deaf School Seeking to Build on Special Record of Success

Yesterday a couple of my Education Policy Center friends had the privilege of visiting a local charter school with a special program to serve a particular group of kids with special needs: Rocky Mountain Deaf School (RMDS). RMDS is located in Jefferson County, but about half of its 61 students live in surrounding districts. That’s a sign of a school having success connecting with deaf and hearing-impaired kids and improving their learning horizons. The RMDS vision statement highlights the clear focus and special status of the school: As a high performing, innovative educational program for students who are deaf, we are deeply committed to providing a rigorous, standards-based curriculum. We prepare each deaf student to be literate, academically successful, and technologically competent. We provide a linguistically rich learning environment through the acquisition of American Sign Language and English both inside and outside the classroom.

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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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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 […]

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Parents Can Now Find Private Schools on School Choice Website

My friends who run SchoolChoiceForKids.org have made it even easier for my mom and dad and lots of other parents to find a good school for me and my friends. Now you can search for PK-12 non-public schools (private, religious, and independent schools not operated by the government). For each school you can find: Address Map of the area Phone number Web site (when available) Grade levels served Religious affiliation (if any) Schools that only teach preschool and kindergarten are not listed, but you can find all of that information on this special page they created just for preschool. Parents who can’t afford private school tuition may be able to get a scholarship for their kids through one of the private organizations listed here. And don’t forget that you can also look for public schools near you, too.

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