Recently, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed that tried to make the case that we shouldn't bother investing in pre-k because it's "of no educational value and the cost would be staggering." Many advocates of early education, including the OTL Campaign, would of course beg to differ. ReadyNation, an organization that highlights business leaders' support for early education initiatives, took it upon themselves to fact check the entire op-ed. The result is a must-read rebuttal to anyone who would deny the well-documented benefits of pre-k and the role it plays in closing the opportunity gap.
From the rebuttal:
"In contrast to the October 16 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal (“The 'Universal Pre-K' Fallacy: Free school for 4-year-olds? Sounds great. Too bad it is of no educational value and the cost would be staggering”), more than 360 companies and business leaders across 44 states have signed on to ReadyNation’s Open Letter endorsing the educational and economic benefits of high quality early learning programs, especially for disadvantaged children. A similar statement signed by 35 senior executives, including the current and former leaders of major companies, was published in Politico on Sept. 17. The economic research has been endorsed by the current Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke; the leaders of Federal Reserve Banks in Atlanta, Richmond and San Francisco; and the 2000 Nobel Laureate in Economics.
A new report by ten of the nation’s leading early childhood academics, "Investing in Our Future", concludes “Large-scale public preschool programs can have substantial impacts on children’s early learning. Scientific evidence on the impacts of early childhood education has progressed well beyond exclusive reliance on the Perry Preschool and Abecedarian programs.”
This op-ed includes numerous selective or mis-representations of the overall data on the impact of quality early learning programs."
Read the full rebuttal here.