Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Providing preschool options

"There is little evidence to support the belief that large-scale government preschool programs are effective, by themselves, in improving long-term student outcomes," Adam B. Schaeffer writes in a new study ('The Poverty of Preschool Promises: Saving Children and Money with the Early Education Tax Credit'). "Reform of the existing K–12 system should therefore remain the primary focus of those interested in sustainable improvement in student outcomes."
Given that many states have already instituted pre-K programs, or are committed to doing so, this paper proposes model early education legislation aimed at maximizing their chances for long-term success. The Early Education Tax Credit aims to sustain any potential preschool benefits and establish a solid academic foundation for later success. The program would improve the quality and efficiency of preschool options by harnessing market forces and would pay for itself by using savings generated from the migration of students from public to private schools in grades K–4.

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