Is Pre-K School Really A Panacea?
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Earlier: NYT: IQ Is Real!

Pre-kindergarten schooling has been around for a long time: for example, I went to a few hours a day of nursery school at age 3-4 in the early 1960s. On the other hand, there wasn’t much academic about my nursery school at all, nor was there much in kindergarten either, other than maybe singing the alphabet song. Reading instruction was reserved for 1st grade.

Democrats pin a lot of hopes on pre-K as part of their long-term push to spend more money on childcare up to but not earlier than 8 months and 29 days before birth.

From Developmental Psychology:

Dev Psychol
2022 Jan 10.

Effects of a statewide pre-kindergarten program on children’s achievement and behavior through sixth grade

Kelley Durkin 1, Mark W Lipsey 2, Dale C Farran 1, Sarah E Wiesen 3

As state-funded pre-kindergarten (pre-K) programs expand, it is critical to investigate their short- and long-term effects. This article presents the results through sixth grade of a longitudinal randomized control study of the effects of a scaled-up, state-supported pre-K program. The analytic sample includes 2,990 children from low-income families who applied to oversubscribed pre-K program sites across the state and were randomly assigned to offers of admission or a wait list control. Data through sixth grade from state education records showed that the children randomly assigned to attend pre-K had lower state achievement test scores in third through sixth grades than control children, with the strongest negative effects in sixth grade. A negative effect was also found for disciplinary infractions, attendance, and receipt of special education services, with null effects on retention. The implications of these findings for pre-K policies and practices are discussed.

For some reason, this study with six times the sample size and eight times the duration of that EEG study the New York Times splashed on its front page yesterday hasn’t yet made the front page.

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