If you are already a supporter of publicly-funded pre-k, you know
why researchers and reporters use the phrases, "mounting evidence",
"growing body of research", and "well- documented benefits" of pre-k.
They are all ways of saying, "We both know that pre-k makes sense. Why
are we still talking about this?"
Every once in a while a study
or report is published that is less than positive about public pre-k.
These reports are like rocks thrown on a bonfire when you
consider the quantity and quality of studies that support the benefits
of pre-k for children and communities. Sure, some sparks fly when a
study that is less than positive is published but that is all there is,
sparks. When a bonfire is really burning, you can't put it out with a
research with a 50 year history.
If you want to
read an overview of the wide range of recent pre-k research, check out
this Public Policy Forum early childhood research chart. The
matrix outlines the long and short-term benefits of pre-k for children,
along with cost-benefit studies. And the field of research supporting
public pre-k keeps growing. On the National Institute for Early
Childhood Research (NIEER) web site, I found five studies published
last year that support findings that high quality pre-k has substantial
Just this month, Pre-K Now's very own Albert Wat
published the report, The Case for Pre-K in Education Reform: A Summary
of Program Evaluation Findings. With his keen understanding of the
field, he describes six separate evaluations of state funded pre-k
programs published since 2005. These studies found that students who
enrolled in pre-k were 30 to 50 percent less likely to repeat a grade in
the years after. Students were also 49 percent less likely to be
referred for special education services, which can cost twice as much as
mainstream education. So read this report and pickup some fuel for the
fire. Know why pre-k matters.
Image from: http://gardeningwithchildren.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/bonfire.jpg