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Reroute the Preschool Juggernaut (Hoover Institution Press Publication) First Edition
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I haven't seen enough preschools, good or bad, to decide whether Finn is right. But his analysis is a good starting place. There has been much written about the benefits of universal preschool. This report will inspire much more, both positive and negative, and help those of us overwhelmed by conflicting data to figure out the essentials, and see the weaknesses on both sides of the debate. --Jay Mathews, © 2009 The Washington Post Company
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Top Customer Reviews
Finn's book advocates for the following policy positions with respect to preschool:
*** Universal preschool is a bad idea because it is argued to not be needed for most preschoolers to be well-prepared for kindergarten. Furthermore, in most cases any positive effects of preschool are argued to fade out unless complemented by improved K-12 schools.
*** Targeted preschool on the most disadvantaged can make a difference in their kindergarten readiness, which may make a difference if followed up by better K-12 schools.
*** This targeting is likely to be considerably more effective if the preschool experience is more intensive in hours, years, etc., although considerable experimentation is needed to determine what is most effective.
*** Preschool is also likely to be more effective if quality measurement and evaluation focuses less on input measures such as staffing credentials and staffing ratios, and more on outcomes in terms of assessments showing cognitive skills that predict kindergarten success.Read more ›
This book makes the point that there is a real contradiction in the arguments made on behalf of universal preschool. Many people want the government to provide preschool for all because they want to help disadvantaged kids start their schooling off right. But Finn argues that offering free preschool to all of our nation's four-year-olds is not the way to accomplish that goal.
Finn reviews the evidence on the effects of preschool and finds that disadvantaged kids benefit most from intensive programs that focus on remedying their deficits. They will not necessarily gain much from the more watered-down programs that would inevitably be provided if the funds for pre-K have to be spread across all 4 million of our nation's four-year-olds. Instead of targeting funds on our neediest children, a program of universal preschool will involve spending a lot of tax dollars to pay for preschool for well-off families, families that today happily pay for preschool with their own money.
At 100 pages long, this book provides an excellent summary of what the advocates aren't saying about universal preschool.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Reroute the Preschool Juggernaut is inaccurate and poorly researched. The book cherry-picks a few weak studies to fit its preconceptions and stacks one error upon another to build... Read morePublished on June 29, 2009 by W. S. Barnett
Preschool is currently one of the hottest topics n American education. In 2007, 30 governors called for increased pre-K funding. Read morePublished on June 23, 2009 by Loyd Eskildson