AEIdeas

The public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute

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Discussion: (3 comments)

  1. “But why this is an argument for a universal program, I am not sure.” – JP

    Maybe, just maybe the massive political constituency building exercise, with other people’s money, known as early childhood intervention needs continued and the rent seekers thereof, satisfied. How so?

    Early childhood academic intervention, from the Westinghouse study in the late 1960’s to two massive HHS studies, the last in 2010, show no lasting effects of early childhood academic intervention.

    But not to be dissuaded, and with the focus on intention and not result, the programs have gone on unhindered for four decades and hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent with zero to minimal results. However, those involved in early childhood academic intervention make for nice political constituents and have, over time, become rent seekers extraordinaire.

    Why not hedge the political constituency building exercise with other people’s money and associated rent seeking by claiming other interventions indeed work? Yes a nice hedge.

    One might even rename it “intervention change” so that it becomes an argument that morphs per situation.

  2. Todd Mason

    Inclusion is an argument for universal preschool, as is socialization. The blogger has noted several times that inequality eases in cities where classes commingle. While there is some advantage to 4YOs of different backgrounds socializing without much baggage, a bigger benefit is aspirational (upscale) parents riding herd on preschool administrators and teachers, something Headstart badly needs (along with certified teachers.)

  3. Benjamin Cole

    My sense is there is a group of people who want funds for early education…and other groups for defense…and other groups for the poor etc…studies and scare-mongering for the tax dollar…

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