To the Editor:
In response to Walt Gardner’s March 8, 2006, letter to the editor defending preschool education, I am well aware of the premier High/Scope Perry Preschool Project and its results. However, Mr. Gardner and preschool proponents in general are asking us to create a very expensive entitlement program (without a sunset clause) on the basis of a study involving 123 schoolchildren in Michigan that began in 1962.
For one thing, the schools that these children attended after their preschool experience were considerably better than those that await today’s children. For another, they received high-quality preschool instruction, which is totally doable for such a small cohort, but very problematic in our country, where government-run K-12 schools are incapable of delivering an education of high-enough quality that would make preschool unnecessary.
San Francisco, Calif.
A version of this article appeared in the March 22, 2006 edition of Education Week as More on Preschool and ‘Entitlement’ Programs