Author Archives: timbartik

About timbartik

Tim Bartik is a senior economist at the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, a non-profit and non-partisan research organization in Kalamazoo, Michigan. His research specializes in state and local economic development policies and local labor markets.

Where is the weight of the evidence, and the burden of proof, for targeted vs. universal pre-K?

The Hamilton Project has released a useful e-book that presents evidence on selected anti-poverty policies. This includes some discussion of pre-K programs, by Elizabeth Cascio and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach. The Cascio/Schanzenbach chapter argues for expansion of high-quality targeted pre-K.  My … Continue reading

Posted in Distribution of benefits, Early childhood program design issues, Early childhood programs | 1 Comment

Achievement gaps at kindergarten entry, income inequality, universal pre-K, and more-intensive early childhood education

Milagros Nores and Steve Barnett have written a recently-released report on how kindergarten readiness and preschool enrollment varies by different groups, including for different income groups. What they document is that at kindergarten entrance, children in disadvantaged groups are far … Continue reading

Posted in Distribution of benefits

What do we know about pre-K peer effects?

A recent opinion piece by David Kirp in the New York Times argued that it makes no sense to put low-income children in income-segregated pre-K programs, as we do in the Head Start program, because of the importance of classroom … Continue reading

Posted in Distribution of benefits, Early childhood program design issues

Whitehurst’s latest comments on pre-K

Russ Whitehurst has some more recent comments on pre-K, this time arguing against a more recent study of Georgia pre-K. This more recent study found pre-K effects on cognitive skills which, averaged across all tests used, had an average “effect … Continue reading

Posted in Early childhood programs

The importance of education, and a pre-K experiment to watch

Two articles recently came to my attention that are of considerable relevance to early childhood education. First, New York Times reporter Eduardo Porter has an article and interview with economist Thomas Piketty on growing economic inequality. Piketty is the author … Continue reading

Posted in Distribution of benefits, Early childhood program design issues

Reducing inequality may sometimes increase economic growth – and a specific example is early childhood education

Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman devoted his column this morning to recent empirical evidence, from the International Monetary Fund, which indicates that reducing income inequality need not reduce economic growth. This goes against a tradition among economists as seeing an … Continue reading

Posted in Distribution of benefits

Grading the Pre-K Evidence

Russ Whitehurst of Brookings has a new blog post that outlines his views on pre-K research in more detail.  The title is “Does Pre-K Work? It Depends How Picky You Are”. Whitehurst reaches the following conclusion: “I conclude that the … Continue reading

Posted in Early childhood program design issues, Early childhood programs

The appeal of universal programs rests in part on simplicity

A summary of my paper with my colleague Marta Lachowska on the Kalamazoo Promise recently was published in Education Next. (The summary even received a tweet from Arne Duncan!) The Kalamazoo Promise is a program begun in 2005, under which … Continue reading

Posted in Distribution of benefits, Early childhood program design issues, Early childhood programs

Dealing with uncertainty in research on pre-K

Jason Richwine, in a recent blog post at “The Corner” blog of National Review, expressed surprise at my interpretation of the estimated effects in the Head Start randomized control trial. I had pointed out that the impact estimates, while not … Continue reading

Posted in Early childhood programs

More on weighing the evidence on pre-K

Andrew Coulson of the Cato Institute has a blog post commenting on the debate between me and Russ Whitehurst over what evidence to believe about the effects of pre-K programs. Coulson’s argument is that the only reliable evidence for ascertaining … Continue reading

Posted in Early childhood programs