In this week’s broadcast I mention the previous week’s conference of Mayors at the White House. Bill de Blasio, unreconstructed leftie Mayor-Elect of New York City, was belle of the ball.
De Blasio took the opportunity to promote one of his pet policies, universal pre-K education.
And then we heard a lot about universal pre-K, a big talking point of de Blasio's in his mayoral campaign, and in fact flavor of the month, if not of the last five years, among big-government lefties. There are a couple of things going on here.The full Radio Derb playbill:
One of the things that's going on relates to the previous segment. Pre-K daycare right now is largely private. It would be much better for the Democrats if the child-minders were government employees organized in one of those pseudo-unions to lobby for more government money in return for block votes.
And then, because pre-K daycare is mostly private, a lot of it is provided by churches. Churches educating kids—how evil is that? With the thing under government control, the churches would be out of it.
Then there's the feminist angle. Nothing horrifies a leftist more than the thought of a woman staying at home while her man goes out to work.
Gotta stamp that out! But if the lady goes out to work, the kids need some daycare; and who better to provide it than Nanny Government?
Not quite squaring with the feminist angle is the Nice White Lady fantasy. The notion here, propagandized in movies like The Blind Side and Freedom Writers, is that we wouldn't have so many black kids turning out so badly if we could get them into the care of Nice White Ladies at an early age. No, I don't believe it either, but this idea has a powerful grip on the imaginations of liberals, especially liberal women, and universal pre-K is seen as one incarnation of it.
And then there's the related matter of those test-score gaps. White and East Asian kids just keep on scoring higher than black and Hispanic kids.
Of course this must be due to lack of educational interventions in early childhood. What else could it possibly be? No Child Left Behind was a flop, and as Radio Derb has been reporting for years, Head Start has had no measurable effect. Hope springs eternal, though, so let's try universal pre-K.
That these threadbare leftist nostrums should have the attention of the White House, and that Bill de Blasio, as the flag-bearer for them, is highly esteemed by our policy-makers and by his fellow mayors, is dismaying and depressing.