Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Reexamining RAND's Economic Case for Universal Preschool

New Study: California's Preschool Benefits Were Miscalculated & Overstated

A Rand Corporation study that claims universal preschool will deliver $2.62 in benefits for every dollar spent by California taxpayers has been thoroughly discredited by two San Jose State University economics professors who show the Rand preschool study "cherry-picked" data, based its claims on "unbelievable assumptions that bias the results," and omitted numerous costs and other factors that significantly lower the alleged benefits of universal preschool. The review of the Rand report, published by the Reason Foundation, uses Rand's own data and methodology and finds that California would actually lose 25 to 30 cents for every dollar spent on universal preschool when just a few of the Rand report's most glaring mistakes are corrected. And the Reason study concludes those losses would be even greater if many of the proposed preschool program's costs, wrongly excluded from Rand's calculations, were included in the analysis.

As Project Director, I am quoted in the Press Release:
It turns out the emperor has no clothes. The oft-cited Rand study doesn't stand up to basic scrutiny and universal preschool can't deliver on the overly optimistic promises that Rand and others have made. Instead of spending billions each year and naively hoping universal preschool will deliver a miracle, we need to fix our state's broken educational system.
Full Study Online Here

Press Release Here

No comments: