fbpx

Latest Posts

Home

Facebook

Twitter

Search
About

Newly-elect Governor Walz alludes to pre-K being one focus of his education agenda

The swearing in today of Governor Tim Walz as Minnesota’s 41st governor included an inaugural address shared by the Star Tribune here.

In his primarily education-themed message, Walz alluded to pre-kindergarten being one focus of his education agenda.

Minnesotans, let’s recognize some simple truths: Education is the great equalizer of society… Putting a young child on a yellow bus to pre-kindergarten in St. Cloud can prevent him from riding a prison bus to Stillwater.

Expanding pre-kindergarten programs and funding was a central priority for former Governor Mark Dayton. The state legislature last year approved one-time funding of $56.6 million for a School Readiness Plus/Voluntary Pre-K “hybrid” that Dayton lobbied hard to make permanent.

The effectiveness and long-term benefits of government-funded pre-K programs are weak. Studies looking at the long-term effects on student achievement find that early gains are short-lived and often fizzle out by second and third grade. According to Grover “Russ” Whitehurst at the Brookings Institute, the Tennessee Voluntary Pre-K Program study provides the “strongest evidence on elementary school impacts of state pre-K” because it is the only study so far that uses “randomized trials of scaled-up state pre-K programs with follow-up of children in the treatment and controls groups as they progress through elementary school.” The study found that “positive achievement effects at the end of pre-K reversed… by 2nd and 3rd grade.”

To be clear, Whitehurst recognizes this is “only one study of one state pre-K program at one point in time,” but he uses the rest of his article to explain other analyses he has done that confirm pre-K benefits are overblown.

Should all children have the opportunity to succeed in school and life? Without a doubt. But increased investments in state pre-K will not meaningfully enhance student achievement for our at-risk learners.

Comments

Subscribe

Categories

Upcoming Events

  • Morning in Minnesota: St. Cloud

    Location: St. Cloud

    Sign up HERE! Courtyard by Marriott St. Cloud 404 West Saint Germain Street St. Cloud, MN, 56301 Please join Center of the American Experiment on Tuesday, July 21 for breakfast with Center policy fellow and education expert Catrin Wigfall as she explains K-12 education in the state and its persistent disparities despite decades of increased spending. Following her presentation, Catrin will lead a Q&A session. 7:30 AM Check In and Breakfast 8:00 AM Presentation 9:00 AM Conclude   Catrin Wigfall is a Policy Fellow at Center of the American Experiment. She is also the director of EducatedTeachersMN and EmployeeFreedomMN. Catrin’s…

    Register Now
  • Morning in Minnesota: Marshall

    Location: Marshall Golf Club

      Sign up for this event HERE! Please join Center of the American Experiment on Thursday, July 16 at Marshall Golf Club for a breakfast with Center economist, John Phelan, as he discusses Minnesota’s economic future. Following his presentation, John will lead a Q&A session. 7:30 AM Check In and Breakfast 8:00 AM Presentation 9:00 AM Conclude John Phelan is a graduate of Birkbeck College, University of London, where he earned a BSc in Economics, and of the London School of Economics where he earned an MSc. He worked in finance for ten years before becoming a professional economist. He…

    Register Now
  • 2020 Annual Dinner Featuring Sarah Huckabee Sanders- Now in September!

    Location: Minneapolis Convention Center Ballroom 1301 2nd Ave S Minneapolis, MN 55403

    NEW SEPTEMBER DATE: We have made the difficult decision to once again move the date of this event. We will now host our Annual Dinner on Saturday, September 19th. All tickets bought for the April 4th, or June 18th dates are transferrable. We are so sorry for any inconvenience this has caused, but we look forward to seeing you on September 19! Direct any questions to Kathryn Hinderaker (kathryn.hinderaker@americanexperiment.org or 612-428-7005).   American President: The Unorthodox Approach to Politics that Changed the World. Sarah Huckabee Sanders served as White House Press Secretary for President Donald J. Trump from 2017 to…

    Register Now