Category Archives: Early childhood programs

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

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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

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Weighing the preschool research evidence

Professor Bruce Fuller had an op-ed on preschool in the Washington Post on February 9. Professor Fuller’s interpretations of preschool research omit some important research. Specifically, Professor Fuller argues that “youngsters from middle-class and well-off homes benefit little from preschool”.  … Continue reading

Posted in Distribution of benefits, Early childhood program design issues, Early childhood programs | 4 Comments

Does early childhood education solve all problems? No, but it is a catalytic investment

David Brooks’s New York Times column of January 24, 2014 reflects a common misunderstanding about how to approach difficult policy issues. In discussing how to “expand opportunity for underprivileged children”, he says that we’ve made the following mistake: “We’ve probably … Continue reading

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The case for pre-K depends not just on empirical details of studies, but on what you view as plausible given what we know about child development, and on how urgently you view the problem of inequality versus the problem of taxes and deficits

The Cato Institute, a well-known libertarian think tank, sponsored a discussion of research on pre-K on January 7, 2014.  I watched a live stream of the event. The discussion featured George Mason professor David Armor, Brookings Institution researcher Russ Whitehurst, … Continue reading

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The reliability of estimates of effects of state and local pre-K programs on kindergarten test scores

A recent article on pre-K that has gained some public attention (for example, in columns by Mona Charen and Reihan Salam) is “The Dubious Promise of Universal Preschool”, by George Mason professors David Armor and Sonia Sousa, published in the … Continue reading

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Published Duke study of North Carolina early childhood programs finds good evidence for spillover benefits for overall student achievement

The recently-published version of a Duke University study provides good evidence that high-quality early childhood programs have sizable spillover benefits for overall student achievement.  The research also suggests that these programs can have ratios of earnings benefits to costs that … Continue reading

Posted in Early childhood programs, Economic development | 1 Comment