Category Archives: 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

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

Posted in Early childhood program design issues, Early childhood programs | 2 Comments

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

Posted in Early childhood program design issues, Early childhood programs | 3 Comments

Pre-K policy should be based on all the evidence, not one study of one state’s programs

Dr. Grover Whitehurst’s latest criticisms of Obama’s preschool plan at the Brown Center website at the Brookings Institution have drawn some attention. He has done numerous posts criticizing Obama’s preschool plan, some of which I’ve responded to in previous posts. Dr. Whitehurst’s … Continue reading

Posted in Early childhood program design issues, Early childhood programs, Local variation in benefits | 6 Comments

Early childhood education: the economics of early versus later interventions

Nick Kristof had an excellent column on early childhood education in the October 27th edition of the New York Times. In this column, he argues that early childhood education is “the best tool we have to break cycles of poverty”. … Continue reading

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

Using test scores to evaluate early childhood programs does not imply that they should be used for accountability purposes for individual program centers or teachers

In some of my blog posts and published articles, I have used effects of early childhood programs on early test scores to evaluate programs.  For example, in my Tulsa study with Gormley and Adelstein, we estimated the effects of Tulsa’s … Continue reading

Posted in Early childhood program design issues | 3 Comments