Wednesday, April 01, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Thursday, October 16, 2014
No Long-Term Gains from Universal Preschool
By NCPA @ 2:54 PM :: 2638 Views :: Education K-12

No Long-Term Gains from Universal Preschool

NCPA October 16, 2014

President Obama and supporters have called for the establishment of universal preschool programs. But are the programs worth the $50 billion cost? No, says a new study for the Cato Institute from George Mason University professor David Armor.

A number of studies have been done on the value of preschool programs, and the results are not positive for preschool supporters. In general, preschool studies have found few gains for attendees, and any gains that might have accrued to students in the preschool classes were very short-term in nature. For example:

  • The Head Start Impact Study was a national assessment of Head Start students, following them through the third grade. While the study of 4,500 children did find statistically significant (though modest) effects on students during the preschool year, the positive impact did not last past kindergarten.
  • Tennessee's Voluntary Pre-K program analyzed 3,000 preschool children. The statistically significant gains that preschool students made had diminished greatly by the end of kindergarten and had entirely disappeared by first grade. The only statistically significant difference between participants and nonparticipants at the end of the first grade favored the control group, not those who participated in the preschool program.

There are a few programs that have indicated longer-term benefits. However, Armor explains that such studies were evaluated using flawed methodologies, including failing to take into account children that dropped out of the programs and therefore biased the results upwards. For example, Tulsa, Oklahoma's program is routinely cited as an example of a high quality preschool program, but Armor notes that its positive results are likely due to the methodology employed in evaluating it and the high number of dropouts in the program.

There are two successful preschool programs that have been evaluated using a rigorous methodology. However, Armor explains that the programs are not at all like the universal preschool programs that have been proposed, making them ill-suited comparisons for contemporary universal preschool proposals. He explains:

  • The Abecedarian Program in North Carolina conducted in the 1970s found significant gains for the preschoolers up to the age of 21. However, the program was nothing like the preschool programs of today. It was a very intensive program providing children with 40 hours per week of education and care for 50 weeks.
  • The Perry Preschool Program in Michigan concluded that the program produced positive economic outcomes and low crime rates for the participants. But again, the program was unique, consisting of two years of preschool, weekly parent-teacher home visits and child-teacher ratios of 5-6 to 1, making it very unlike proposed preschool programs today.

Armor encourages policymakers to study preschool programs and calculate whether there are any long-term gains from such programs before expanding preschool options or making such schooling universal.

Source: David J. Armor, "The Evidence on Universal Preschool," Cato Institute, October 15, 2014.


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940


ACA Signups Hawaii



Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii



Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust 

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube


Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes


Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii


National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii