The year we attend to early ed?

  • Article by: LORI STURDEVANT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 19, 2013 - 7:39 PM

Why it matters, why it's gotten the shaft in the past and why this legislative session could be different.

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SnippetJan. 19, 13 6:32 PM

This isn't "early ed." It's pre-ed. "Early ed" is what the government does starting at kindergarden. "pre-ed" is what parents do. A certain small number of parents either chose not to do this, or their efforts are not successful. I don't think there is any force in the universe that can hold off the temptation to waste taxpayer dollars in a futile and doomed effort to solve this particular problem forever, and if Ms. Sturdevant is right, the wasting will begin soon. At least it will make some folks feel virtuous. I suppose that's worth some small percentage of whatever the total bill ends up being.

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pumiceJan. 19, 13 6:55 PM

From the article: "Early ed ought to be a big part of Minnesota's strategy. It has proven its worth in closing the race- and class-based achievement gap... Fresh findings are circulating from the Minneapolis Federal Reserve's respected research shop showing that preschool beats all-day kindergarten in return on investment." The best investment in Minnesota's future is getting more kindergarteners to the schoolhouse door ready to learn.

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pumiceJan. 19, 13 7:07 PM

From the article: "Probusiness legislators have been left to conclude that early childhood investments would be nice but aren't all that important. (Same goes for transit, higher ed and all the other spending that businesses say they favor provided no taxes are raised.)" In my opinion, Ms. Sturdevant, it's hard to believe that business leaders are serious about early childhood education, transit, higher ed and all the other investments in Minnesota's future with constraints like "no tax increases" when the first item on the budget agenda is "close the deficit".

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probsolverJan. 19, 13 7:45 PM

Seems like an admirable program but it will not produce dividends unless there is parental involvement.

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SnippetJan. 19, 13 7:57 PM

>>> ....Fresh findings are circulating from the Minneapolis Federal Reserve's respected research shop showing that preschool beats all-day kindergarten in return on investment." <<< This begs more questions than it answers. For example, "Do the children of parents who are so motivated they go to the trouble of putting their kids in pre-school do better because of the pre-school itself or the genes they inherited from their highly motivated parents?" Another question this "fresh" research raises is this: "Why are we talking about the need for government spending on pre-school 40 YEARS after the implementation of Head Start, which was created PRECISELY to solve the problem Ms. Sturdevant claims now demands government attention?

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SnippetJan. 19, 13 7:59 PM

>>> Ms. Sturdevant, it's hard to believe that business leaders are serious about early childhood education, transit, higher ed and all the other investments in Minnesota's future with constraints like "no tax increases" when the first item on the budget agenda is "close the deficit". <<< It's hard to believe anyone who does not take deficits seriously cares about he future of Minnesota.

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SnippetJan. 20, 13 7:57 AM

>>> The Legislature isn't quick to adapt to new information. Research findings about brain development prior to age 5 are relatively recent and aren't universally understood. Politicians who "get it" still dither when they think their constituents don't. <<< This research, showing that intervention at ages 3 and 4 is hugely important is far from settled and has been called into question by Steven Pinker and Judith Hayes among others. Those who do not "get it" in the author's demeaning choice of words are demonstrating legitimate prudence and skepticism about the latest research fad as well as the ability of a new program to do what Head Start and ECFE weren't able to do.

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jimjimjimjimJan. 20, 13 8:14 AM

Head Start has been repeatedly shown to be a failure. It is essentially a day care for non-working mothers to stick their children in so they don't need to raise them. If you want children to succeed in school you encourage 2 parent households where they read to their children. Pretty simple really.

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ti1310Jan. 20, 13 9:08 AM

-----Head Start has been repeatedly shown to be a failure. It is essentially a day care for non-working mothers to stick their children in so they don't need to raise them. If you want children to succeed in school you encourage 2 parent households where they read to their children. Pretty simple really.---- Wrong. Art Rolnick did extensive research on early child and concluded there is a substantial benefit to the child and economically to the public. His research shows that for every dollar spent the child and the public get $8.74 in economic benefits, the public alone gets $7.16 and the total IRR was 16 percent. That is a good investment with a great return...

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SnippetJan. 20, 13 9:57 AM

>>> Art Rolnick did extensive research on early child and concluded there is a substantial benefit to the child and economically to the public. <<< The HSS, that bastion of right-wing children haters recently concluded that Head Start in a study of the effectiveness of Head Start that it has a very modest effect, which, by third grade has almost completely evaporated. Eve if you think that pumping large amounts of money into the system for transient effects is a good idea, why would you want more than one government program doing this?

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