Category Archives: Early childhood program design issues

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in Early childhood program design issues, Early childhood programs