The Pre-K Problem: A Great Investment or Passing the Buck?

What should we be talking about when we talk about universal pre-K?

The Trouble With Economists

It turns out that preschool programs are hard to replicate with fidelity or in such a way that each additional preschool student gets the anticipated benefit.

What We’re Watching: Assessing the President’s Preschool Plan

Sara Mead and Russ Whitehurst assess President Obama’s preschool plan at a panel at the Fordham Institute.

By Education Next    Early Childhood and Preschool, Multimedia, Video  

Obama for Governor!

But first clean up Head Start

A New Start for Head Start — If Congress Doesn’t Get in the Way

The Head Start program has needed a radical overhaul for the past 45 years, i.e. ever since its founding and its near-immediate demonstration that it doesn’t do much lasting good by way of readying poor kids to succeed in school. But Head Start’s iconic status, powerful lobby and influential friends have stymied every effort to turn it into a proper school-readiness program and to purge it of its many shoddy operators.

Will Congress Reroute the Preschool Juggernaut?

Podcast: Education Next’s Paul Peterson and Chester E. Finn, Jr. talk this week (Nov. 4) about a bill passed by the House that would send $8 billion to states to boost the quality of preschools and expand the number of preschool spots for disadvantaged children.

Fix the Preschool Misstep

In “Early Childhood Misstep” over at, Chester E. Finn, Jr. dissects the “Early Learning Challenge Fund,” the House’s effort to boost early childhood programs run by the states. He writes: The early-childhood crowd is, of course, gaga over this bill… In reality, however, it’s a flawed piece of work that the Senate would do […]

The Problem with Preschool for All

The campaign for universal preschool has gained great momentum, but a troubling contradiction casts a shadow over this movement. The main argument that preschool advocates make is that we need to give disadvantaged kids a boost up the ladder of educational success. Helping the least advantaged kids catch up would require intensive programs starting early […]

Will Universal Preschool Help Poor Kids?

Video: Chester E. Finn, Jr. talks with Education Next about the contradictions behind the push for for universal preschool.

The Preschool Picture

Universal preschool will be a boon for middle-class parents. How it will help poor kids catch up is not so obvious.

Preschool Puzzle

As state after state expands pre-K schooling, questions remain

By Douglas Besharov and Craig Ramey    Early Childhood and Preschool, Features, Forum  

Competing Visions

Head Start gets a makeover. President Bush proposes to refocus Head Start on the teaching of academic skills. Should Democrats go along?

By RON HASKINS    Early Childhood and Preschool, Features  
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