Friday, September 30, 2011

Early Childhood Education- Arne’s Special Interest Army

Regarding special interests groups, economic rent seekers, and political constituency building exercises through the use of taxpayer money, lets examine early childhood education.

Empirical evidence of early education dating back to the Westinghouse Study of 1969, the 1987 studies by the University of Delaware and by Copple, Cline,& Smith, to the 1990 study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources [Sharon McGroder study] ---which took studies from all over the nation and analyzed the studies as a group --- the result of the studies and especially the McGroder study is that early education either has no benefit or a small benefit that fades out by the third grade. (1) (2) (3)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources initiated yet another study: The Head Start Impact Study. The Head Start Impact Study final executive report, dated January 2010 concluded $150 billion of taxpayer dollars have been “invested” in Head Start since 1965 yielding no lasting benefits for participating children. (4)

In the field of economics, early education has long been considered a cost/benefit loser. The question that begs to be asked is why continue to spend taxpayer money on a program with massive costs and little benefit. The answer is that the program continues not based upon economics, the program is a political creation. Politicos through the mechanism of government build a constituency of Head Start workers, Head Start suppliers, and associated Head Start special interest groups through the use of taxpayer dollars ($150 billion to be exact).






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