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"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela

Vanderbilt Pre-K Study: More Evidence of Negative Impact Upon Young Children

By Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D.  |  October 30, 2015  Education Views 

Government continues to spend money on pre-K programs while lying to taxpayers about how more billions is the solution for at-risk kiddies which, of course, will make adults feel good about themselves.  Politicians who claim their decisions are based upon empirical evidence willfully suppress the research findings that these government pre-kindergartens are actually harmful to students. 

The latest evidence that government pre-K is useless is found in the recently published study by Vanderbilt University about the scaled up pre-K program in Tennessee.   

The full-day pre-kindergarten program is for students whose families qualify for free or reduced lunches.  A high-quality program nearly identical to those implemented in other states, the Tennessee program meets the majority of benchmarks outlined by the National Institute for Early Education Research. 

In conjunction with the Tennessee Department of Education, Vanderbilt University’s Peabody Research Institute conducted the study that included participants and non-participants in the pre-K program.  Both groups began the pre-K year at the same level of academic ability. 

By the end of the year, the participants were significantly ahead of those who did not participate, with higher scores in literacy, language, and mathematics. 

By the end of the first grade, the two groups were again equal in their achievement scores.  By the end of the third grade, the performance of the participants was lower than that of the non-participants, both academically and socially. 

Now here is where it gets interesting. The results of the Vanderbilt study align almost perfectly with those of the Head Start Impact Study. 

Federal researchers have been studying Head Start for decades and have never ever found significant, long-lasting benefits. The U.S. Department of Health reported that the performance of participants is no better than that of non-participants. Since its inception in the 1960s, the Head Start program has continued to be an exorbitantly expensive failure. 

The response of politicians? Just ignore the finding of empirical studies and allocate millions for more research that will surely get different results! 

That’s like saying donkeys can fly if we throw enough money at growing their wings. 

When will do-gooders realize that young children are being treated as guinea pigs by the government?  Toddlers who can barely hold a pencil are being forced to sit long hours and perform tasks that are developmentally inappropriate. 

American schools are pushing these fragile youngsters into more structured, teacher-directed class time. Play-based kindergartens, and now even preschools, have been replaced largely by drilling and testing. Researchers who have studied the effects of the daily drilling of literacy and math skills to make young children develop faster have found both creativity and curiosity to be negatively affected.  Since 1990, the Torrance scores for creative ability have been falling for Americans with the decline being most serious for younger children in K-6. 

The stifling of creativity and curiosity in young children makes teaching advanced math and science later more difficult.  Already this has had an impact. Because too many of our students are not academically prepared for the business world, we are importing highly skilled talent to fill our needs. 

In the past students have been encourage to be creative.  As a result, the great American genius brought forth a wide array of inventions that have benefited millions throughout the world.  That has all changed.  Students are now being taught collectivism through the Progressive teaching methods in public schools, eschewing individualism and creativity. 

Consequently, we are seeing the killing of the great entrepreneurial spirit that has been the hallmark of America. 

Pre-K advocates claim that early intervention will help solve the criminal problems of society.  Yet the 1960s HighScope Preschool Curriculum Comparison Study for low-income children shows that by age 23, there is serious overall development, with 34 percent of participants having been arrested for a felony offense. 

With the benefits of pre-K programs fading by the third grade, why would American want to spend billions more to add another year of school to an already failed 13?  

Government has destroyed our once great education system with its Progressive teaching philosophy and psychological manipulation of impressionable young minds. 

Government has destroyed our families. Along with the federal government’s changes in Aid to Families with Dependent Children (ADFC) has come the destruction of black marriages and a high rate of illegitimacy. Marriage is statistically the single highest correlating factor in wealth accumulation.  With the destruction of marriage by the AFDC, the opportunity to climb out of poverty also went by the wayside, placing children born into these one-parent families at risk. 

Government has destroyed the home environment where a mother and father care for, nurture, and teach their young offspring. 

In a nutshell, many black youngsters qualify for free lunches and free pre-K because they are at-risk -- a life of misery caused by their own government. 

Now politicians, both in Washington and at the state level, are trying to coerce taxpayers to fund universal government pre-K that has been empirically proven to be harmful to children! 

Do they really hate kids that much?

Copyright 2015 Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D. All rights reserved.


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