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Diane Flynn Keith...

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Wall Street Journal Sells Out Preschoolers

A front page article in the Wall Street Journal on August 9, 2007 – spewed more propaganda about the “cost-benefits” of Universal Preschool.

As you might expect, there was lots of money talk about preschool in this article touting the Return On Investment. Of course, those interviewed referred to the same flawed studies we have heard from pre-k proponents ad nauseum. A passing glance was given to the opposition as follows:

So far, few organizations are pushing the case against preschool, but the argument does exist. Some skeptics predict the hefty return claimed by Mr. Rolnick would quickly shrink if states rush to make preschool universal. They cite some studies suggesting that Head Start, the federal program for disadvantaged preschoolers, gives children little edge when entering elementary school.

The current full-scale Head Start program is having a disappointing impact on kids,” says Douglas Besharov of the conservative American Enterprise Institute. “Pre-K is an important part of the tool chest for reducing the achievement gap…but will the return on investment be as great as people say? I don’t think so.

See the spin? The WSJ would have readers believe that even the opponents think “Pre-K is an important part of the tool chest…” Bleah. 🙁

I can’t believe that the author of the piece, Deborah Solomon, couldn’t find when doing her research. Type in “universal preschool” to the Google search engine and we’re right at the top of the list. The CATO Institute’s great policy analysis by Darcy Olsen dissing universal preschool is there too. (sigh)

For a while, it looked like the right’s political agenda MIGHT be a barricade to UPK. But with Rupert Murdoch at the helm of the WSJ — corporate interests and greed will hammer readers to convert government K-12 to Pre-K-12 in no time at all. ROI, contrary to what proponets of UPK would have you believe, has nothing to do with what’s best for little kids.

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