Friday, June 06, 2008

More on Universal Preschool

Today at Education Week, Linda Jacobson reports on the long-term benefits of universal preschool from the Chicago Child Parent Program.

I am the one and only skeptic in the article:

But some experts caution that the children served by the Chicago program and similar efforts were very disadvantaged, and that providing such services to middle-class families in universal preschool programs are unlikely to result in the same return on investment.

“The biggest argument against the Chicago economic data is that it is still largely a ‘boutique’ program that cost more and provided more services than most current universal and preschool programs,” said Lisa Snell, the director of education and child welfare at the Los Angeles-based Reason Foundation, a free-market-oriented think tank. “It is hard to imagine that current programs will have the same kinds of economic payoffs as the Chicago program.”

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