Friday, October 7, 2011

NY Times Blog Attempts Advocacy of Early Childhood Education Spending, but ...

Judith Scott-Clayton: From Kindergarten to College Completion -

Some excerpts and the conclusion they lead to:

"But here’s a question: if we want to increase college completions over the longer term, is it more cost-effective to direct resources to college students or to preschoolers and kindergarteners?"

The study found that kindergarteners randomly assigned to smaller classes through the Project Star experiment were 2.7 percentage points more likely to enroll in college and 1.6 percentage points more likely to complete a degree by age 30.

The 33 percent reduction in class size evaluated by the Project Star experiment was not cheap, and the authors estimate that it cost more than $400,000 per additional student induced to attend college as a result of program participation

Using impact estimates from other studies, the researchers calculate that programs aimed at individuals on the brink of college have the biggest bang for the buck — if the goal is college attainment.

An enormous caveat to this analysis is that good early childhood programs have been shown to improve a host of outcomes even for those who never attend college, including childhood health and mortality.
... then the conclusion

"Based on both theory and evidence, it is hard to argue that we’re not underinvesting in early childhood education."

The conclusion I'd make is early childhood education isn't education, it's a social program.  If you don't think the data supports that conclusion, perhaps you got stuck in the early stages of education.
That would explain the length of time certain proponents have spent as students.

No comments:

Post a Comment