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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Obama's universal preschool proposal: Game-changer or federal overreach?

By Husna Haq





That asterisk many are missing


JewishWorldReview.com | (TCSM) As part of a broader effort to strengthen the middle class, President Obama proposed making universal preschool education available to all children in America.

In doing so, he has thrown his weight behind an idea that advocates say is perhaps the most cost effective way of heading off later problems among at-risk kids — from dropout rates to teen pregnancy. Libby Doggett, director of the Home Visiting Campaign at the Pew Charitable Trusts, called Mr. Obama's words a "watershed moment for our youngest children."

But the seminal study on the beneficial effects of pre-K education is 40 years old, and critics say Obama's proposal is catering to education advocates, solving a problem that many American families don't rate highly.

Many questions remain about Obama's plan, including what such a program would cost. But Obama specifically referenced Georgia and Oklahoma, two states which make preschool available to every child, as examples of what he wants to accomplish.

"Tonight, I propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America," Obama said back in his State of the Union address. "In states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children, like Georgia or Oklahoma, studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, and form more stable families of their own. So let's do what works, and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind."

The liberal think tank, Center for American Progress, released its own report. CAP's plan has the federal government partnering with states to subsidize preschool based on income, matching state spending dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000 per child for full-day preschool. CAP estimates its plan would cost the federal government $98.4 billion over 10 years, assuming most of the costs would be paid for by states. P>


According to calculations by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), high-quality preschool education costs an average of $8,000 per child per year. This would make universal preschool for all 4-year-olds about $33 billion per year, and close to $70 billion for all 3- and 4-year-olds — not taking into account existing spending on pre-K.

Currently, about 80 percent of 4-year-olds attend preschools in the US, and about half of those attend public programs like state pre-K, federal Head Start, or special education, and the other half attend private programs, according to a 2008 State of Preschool report by NIEER. In Oklahoma, where parents have the option to send their 4-year-olds to the state-funded public pre-K, about 72 percent of families participate.

Still, the president's proposal satisfies the demands of advocates rather than parents, says Grover Whitehurst, a director of the Brown Center on Education Policy at the liberal-leaning Brookings Institution in Washington.

"I haven't seen a groundswell of public demand for federal involvement at this level," says Mr. Whitehurst, who is also a former director of the Institute of Education Sciences within the US Department of Education. "This comes largely from the policy world. People have been working on this agenda for over a decade and finally got the ears of the administration."

Advocates, including Obama, say universal preschool is a good investment.

"Every dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than seven dollars later on — by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime," Obama said in his State of the Union speech.

He was referring to findings from an iconic 1960s preschool intervention program, the Perry Preschool Project, which followed children from at-risk homes from high-quality preschool programs into adulthood. This and other similar studies have found a host of benefits linked to high-quality preschool attendance. One by CAP suggests that, without high-quality early childhood intervention, an at-risk child is 25 percent more likely to drop out of school, 40 percent more likely to become a teen parent, 50 percent more likely to be placed in special education, 60 percent more likely never to attend college, and 70 percent more likely to be arrested for a violent crime.

These benefits provide a return on investment of anywhere between $4 and $17 for every $1 spent, says W. Steven Barnett, director of NIEER at Rutgers University.

Adds Ms. Doggett of Pew, "I don't think there's a better educational investment you can make that will return greater benefit than a quality pre-K program."

But critics, including Whitehurst, say the evidence for universal preschool is scant. Pilot programs and related statistics focus on benefits to the most disadvantaged children attending intensive, high-quality preschool programs.

"My first reaction [to Obama's proposal] was, 'Gosh, this speech is really misleading in terms of evidence,'" says Whitehurst, who recently wrote a piece for Brookings critical of universal preschool. "The point of my piece is that generalizing from a 40-year-old multiyear program that cost $100,000 a kid to a typical state-funded program for 4-year-olds is a great big leap of faith," he says, referring to the findings from the Perry Preschool Program cited by Obama.

"We currently don't have compelling evidence that those programs, made universal, are going to generate positive returns," he adds.

Whitehurst says such programs have the greatest impact among the most disadvantaged populations. "The more universal we go, the more we take money and spread it around, the more thin the resources are for any particular child in need, and the less the impact," he says.


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"Programs that are supposed to impact school readiness have the greatest effect for kids who are otherwise not ready — low-income or disadvantaged families," he adds. "That's where the investment needs to be, where the investment has the greatest promise of paying off."

Mr. Barnett of NIEER says the government has already tried — and failed — with targeted programs.

"We've been doing Head Start for 50 years. How well is that working out?" he says. "That's 50 years of proof that this is not the model we want."

Yet Whitehurst says he's not convinced that universal preschool is a good investment.

"The evidence is very weak that it will achieve anything like the outcomes anticipated," he says. "I would rather see the administration increase resources for targeted programs and make them more coherent."

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