Universal preschool hasn’t improved educational outcomes, argues Lisa Snell and Shikha Dalmia of the Reason Foundation. Oklahoma saw fourth-grade scores fall after offering universal preschool; Georgia stayed about the same. Tennessee invested $250 million into expanding a high-quality state preschool program three years ago.
A comprehensive study last month – commissioned by the government itself – concluded that, barring at-risk kids, there was “no statistically significant difference” between the educational performance of second-graders who attended preschool and those who did not.
Meanwhile, research on Head Start, the federal preschool program for poor kids, also shows few gains. Studies show minor initial cognitive gains – but a near-complete fade out after kids begin elementary school.
High-quality, intensive programs help disadvantaged children prepare for school; most children get what they need at home from their parents.
Many preschool programs will not develope your child for kendergarden.