FreePressEditor's comment history

FreePressEditor said...

ChattTN74- Everything I've ever read indicates that large-scale gov't pre-k programs all suffer from fade out and have no real long-term value. Some studies show there is value in very small pre-k programs for children with serious disabilities (those are usually administered best privately, but can be done publicly). Most studies agree (like the Stanford/UC-Berkeley one I mentioned), however, that for the overwhelming majority of kids,just being a wild 4-year-old kid, running around, interacting with neighborhood kids and eating dirt is more valuable for social development than pre-k.

But the question we need to ask, instead of "how to extend the effects of pre-k?," is "why does gov't need to be involved in pre-k at all?". Why fix a broken system when the system isn't even necessary?

If the desire is to give childcare to poor kids, it's better to just provide low income parents with vouchers so their child can go to the same high-quality preschools that we'd all want out kids to attend. That beats creating a huge, expensive, unsuccessful bureaucracy just to babysit a small number of children for 5 or 6 hours a day.

August 26, 2012 at 9:47 p.m.
FreePressEditor said...

ChattTN74 - The Vandy study focuses on preparedness entering kindergarten. Since pre-k essentially teaches children what they learn in the first couple of months of kindergarten, they obviously do better re-learning the same information than children who are learning something for the first time.

The Vandy study doesn't look at long-term effects and, again, that's where the "fade out" effect comes in. It's a waste of money if, by the 3rd grade, you can't tell a difference between kids of the same socioeconomic background who went to pre-k and those who did not.

(It's a HUGE waste of money when the pre-k kids actually perform worse in school compared to kids of the same socioeconomic background, which is the case in TN.)

The Vandy study is not considered terribly valuable by many researchers who look at educational attainment and quality since it's not longitudinal and cannot measure long-term impact. It just looks at what a child knows going into kindergarten.

What does measure long-term impact is the series of state-funded Strategic Research Group studies. Those studies consistently indicate that TN's pre-k provides no long-term educational gain for its students.

-Drew Johnson
(I don't author every editorial, but I am proud to claim this one. Pre-k research is a bit of a passion of mine).

August 26, 2012 at 2:44 p.m.
FreePressEditor said...

328Kwebsite- I haven't addressed many commenters, but you're such a massive dope that I feel it necessary.

Wamp won Hamilton County by 101 votes, but Fleischmann won the 11-county district as a whole by about about 6,000 votes.

Did you think the 3rd District only included one county?

-Drew Johnson

August 3, 2012 at 1:21 a.m.
FreePressEditor said...

Allow me to use my editor's prerogative to correct one point that several commenters have made. I spoke with neither Vince Dean or Todd Gardenhire about this piece or the "more money than God quote." It was told to me by several state lawmakers and GOP leaders, and confirmed by the one quoted in the piece. I haven't spoken with Vince Dean in years, so I want readers to know that he was in no way a source for the passage that referenced him.

August 1, 2012 at 10:15 a.m.
FreePressEditor said...

happywithnewbulbs - As the author of this editorial (and an economist with a strong understanding of the opportunity cost of voting), let me be very clear: I am not trying to be witty or funny. Voting in a general election, particularly during the first election after redistricting, is a poor allocation of time. Your vote won't matter. I thought I made that clear in the editorial since I made the point several different ways and many different times.

The local and primary races occurring now offer the best opportunity in a decade for one vote to decide an election.

Don't get me wrong, voting in November is fine - for reasons of social interaction or patriotic duty, for example - but please don't vote (in a general election, anyway) under the illusion that it's meaningful to the outcome.

July 17, 2012 at 1:23 a.m.
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