To the Editor:
What a disappointing editorial TMS wrote for the 10/24/14 Caledonian-Record. He began with an offensive and demeaning title, "How Would She Know?" and things went downhill from there. He commented on Rep Michelle Fay's statement that "according to studies prekindergarten pays off sevenfold for students as they progress through school." TMS wrote, "There isn't a study, anywhere, that actually says that... though it's one of the most oft-repeated fallacies from liberals everywhere." Rep Fay stated that money for early childhood education would be "the best money we spend in the state." Our editor wrote: "Don't be concerned that there's precisely no evidence to back that up."
On the contrary, the evidence is overwhelming and easily accessible to anyone with a computer and five minutes to spare. Results of study after study shows that early childhood education pays off. Georgia, Oklahoma, Florida and San Antonio, Texas are among those offering universal pre-K. Not exactly what one would call liberal bastions!
The National Institution for Early Education Research (NIEER) published a Fact Sheet which answers the question: "What is the evidence for the $7 to $1 return on investment for preschool?" NIEER discusses the Chicago Longitudinal Study, Oklahoma's universal pre-K program and the HighScope Perry Preschool Study. NIEER cites cost-benefit ratios for early childhood education programs which range from $7.14 to $1, all the way to $16 to $1.
TMS discredits the Perry Preschool Program by saying "those kids did a little better in life." By contrast, researchers and education experts had this to say about the Program: "The study found that adults at age 40 who had the preschool program had higher earnings, were more likely to hold a job, had committed fewer crimes, and were more likely to have graduated from high school than adults who did not have preschool." Although the sample size was small, the results were statistically significant (the "gold standard" for researchers).
Don't take my word for it. Read what the experts say. They've studied this issue for years. They've done the research, had it peer-reviewed and published it. You'll find the research provides overwhelming evidence that Rep Michelle Fay is spot on. The money we spend on early childhood education is money well spent and we get an excellent return on our investment.