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 in the lives of those children. But the strategy embraced by the pre-K movement is not to provide intensive services to disadvantaged children, it’s to furnish skimpier preschool sevices to all 4 million of our nation’s 4-year-olds.

So notes Chester E Finn, Jr. in a new article on the Ed Next website, “The Preschool Picture.”

Chester E. Finn Jr. talks with Education Next about the contradictions within the movement for universal preschool in a short video here:

Education Next interview with Chester E. Finn, Jr.

Last updated September 15, 2009