2013 April 10 Wednesday
A Successful Preschool Initiative?

Education Realist takes a hard look at the supposedly successful Perry preschool intervention project.

So all those people tweeting and posting excitedly about the pre-school initiative—this is what they’re worked up about? “Hey, if we take really incredibly at-risk kids and spend billions on them in pre-school and manage to replicate the very best outcome we’ve ever managed, only 1 in 3 of them will be arrested five times by their 40th birthday, instead of 1 in 2!”

That’s the gold standard, the “good news” in preschool programs: the achievement gap moves barely a nudge, measured cognitive ability goes up a tad, and the jail gap isn’t quite as spectacularly awful. Pick your own personal favorite preschool research and you’ll still get the same results: not anything to complain about, but the subjects are still much more similar to the control group than to any middle-class norms.

Sigh. Read the whole thing if it is a subject that interests you. I already know a lot of the evidence. So no surprises for me. That there are academics who will deny the obvious? Again, no surprises for me. It is one of the subjects that make me sad. So I limit the amount of time I spend thinking about it.

I look forward to the day when offspring genetic engineering becomes possible. Surely we need it. Though I expect it to widen the cognitive gaps between economic classes as the smartest and most successful most aggressively embrace the creation of smarter and more motivated babies and the lower classes take less interest what will become possible.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2013 April 10 10:37 PM 

Check it out said at April 15, 2013 2:50 PM:

The Montessori methods continue to be great. That is, if we are really talking Montessori. We can also take a look at Finland and learn some from their strict learning discipline and also kindness.

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