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"For poor kids who need help the most, this lack of access to preschool education can shadow them for the rest of their lives."

Pres. Obama pitched universal preschool in last night's SOTU. But at what cost?

(Photo by The Herald-Sun/Bernard Thomas/AP)
ARMANDO JOSE BASURTO SANCHEZ's profile photoEd Bradford's profile photoSharun Holman's profile photojohn melchiorre's profile photo
Every single government produced study about Head Start (the reports are required by law) acknowledge that there is no difference in kids by the time they reach second grade. Head Start is a babysitting service, no more.
Republicans are morons!

They want to gut every public educational program telling is "less is more" but then they turn around and send their kids to the most expensive schools money can buy!!

Hypocrites to the nth degree!!!!!
The most expensive schools. That would be Sidwell Friends school where 11 armed guards are employed, wouldn't it?
Head Start is not public education and the government has demonstrated annually since the program started that there is no long lasting benefit. Are you talking about some other programs, +Mitch Stokely ?
Well... he's right... to a degree. When you measure 'success'... the only measure we've been using since head start began was either graduation rates, or... lately, the tests.
The tests are bad. Really bad. They are poorly written, they are biased, and they skew toward the 'wealthy white kid' by a large margin.

However... there are other wins from head start. Socialization, and some basic 'prep skills' for kindergarten. The trouble with all of these, is the structure is the limit. There are no funds for science projects... kids might be allergic.
There are few funds for either 'field trips' (busing is dangerous and expensive- no extra $$$ for insurance) or bringing in outside materials-- think sea shells for kids in the desert... or cactus to mid-westerners... things one experiences in nature... but most of the settings are 'urban'.  Good pre-schools cover all the bases- inside and outside work is fused to teach lessons without becoming pedantic. We have more to teach, today. Kids need the real... and the digital... and we have to find ways to get both infused early, so there is no fear of either as the child grows.
I was a Headstart teacher and you dont know what your talking about my son went there and he 's in med school,my niece is a engineer,nephew is in college so are a lot of kids it does help
Cool beans. Just gotta watch out for those warrantless claims!
So Ed ask some real ppl and stop listening too falsehood
+Dianna Harris But you don't know if they wouldn't be where they are today had they not been in Head Start. That is one point the annual government reports make.
I read the reports know social workers who have worked with the program since its inception. Who should I ask? The children (now grown up) who attended? Their parents?
Yeah, unfortunately you can't prove what would have happened without for those who had it. It's the same thing with proving that guns prevent crime. There just can never be proof.
+chris brown Exactly. Just like the Stimulus helped us avoid whatever would have happened if we hadn't added $800B to the deficit. You can't prove a negative. With that in mind, why do we spend so much money on programs that have no measurable results?
Because they have results, just not measurable ones. It's called soft power.
Expensive babysitting service. Having under qualified under paid over worked people overseeing at risk kids is a bad idea. 
You have results. I have seen none and my social worker friends have seen none that
can be verified. Spending money on intentions is foolish and wasteful.

Furthermore, one size has never fit all Americans.
Fed Gov should just give money to states to
solve their own education problems.
There are enough rules in place to guard against
the past evils.

I think some organized pre-school thing accessible to all kids is desirable.
I'm not sure a fully qualified teacher is required in those circumstances. I can
think of a number of mom's, some of whom did not graduate HS, that were excellent
moms and would also make excellent pre-school teachers.
Rethuglicans are against funding for education as the dumber you are the more likely you are to vote Rethuglican.
"under qualified" is both pejorative and subjective.
Let's require all pre-school workers to have Ph.D.'s in
child psychology. Should we also require all kids to attend?

What happened to getting reasonably paid to "do the work I love"?
If teachers/HeadStartBabysitters don't have that mentality [reasonable pay for qualifications, but reasonable pay for subjective excellence] then no one should risk their kids in their care.

Perhaps the pre-school workers should unionize? Would that be a good idea?
You can really tell a lot about the priorities of a nation by how much it pays it's teachers.
+Tina Vigilante Spoken like an acknowledged intelligent person. Who did you vote for?

We 'small federal government types' like to fund education.
We hate NCLB and RttT - centralized government programs that
miss the mark by a long shot. Talk to teachers and see how much they
like the "testing" mantra and the "common core".

Are you in the classroom teaching or tutoring?
+Ed Bradford I proudly voted for President Obama. You conservatives want to bust the teachers union and pay low wages to private school teachers.
+chris brown 
I don't think you know what you are talking about. Your statement about "pays it's [sic] teachers" is ignorant. That
was true in the 60's, 70's and maybe some of the 80's.
Now teachers in NY retire at 55 with 90% salary and full medical benefits. IL is also very much OK. CA, also (in spades). I personally know one who retired 4 years ago with $85,000/yr and full medical.

We must value teachers. On that principle I won't compromise.
Then lets call head start what it really is a government paid babysitting service for the poor. I'm ok with that, but lets not pretend its something that its not. If it helps the working poor to go from welfare to workfare so much the better. 
Do you think teachers and school bus drivers should be armed, and how would this come about?
We can barely pay the men and women that spend nearly 40 hours a week with our children a decent wage, now you guys want to try to find more money to have them watch our little ones? Our mother's figured it out, they made it without head start, why can't the moms of today?
+Ed Bradford , that's great for those anecdotes you know. But the real measure of how well we pay teachers is relative. How much does a doctor make at retirement? How about a military general? 
+Sonya Heddle maybe if we weren't paying part time assistant librarians $70k to start or school superintendents $120k to start even if there are less than 1000 students in their districts. I don't know what teaches make in all places in the country, but where I live their starting pay is more than comparable private sector employment positions, and that's before taxpayer paid no copay benefits are accounted for. Not to mention that it's almost impossible to fire them, even when student population decreases, not to mention poor performance. 
I don't understand this. Every child can already attend Pre-school, it's the the parents who feel their kids are better than the free Pre-school at their local or any Public School in their City. The funny part is, Pre-school has nothing to do with Public School. It's offered at Public Schools so it can remain free by the Board of Ed. Not to be rude, but I don't support pig headed people. Especially the ones who can't afford anything more, and act like someone is suppose to do something about it for them. You'll know the rules "Get in where you fit in and keep it moving" That's how I feel about that. It's not personal, it's me.
Well holy shit +David Carroll where do you live? I think I need to move! I'm not sure what your cost of living for your area is but my goodness that is quite a good living! I personally know several teachers and even a full time librarian and know they aren't making those wages. I'm also not sure where your getting your information I'm sure there's a PDF somewhere you can site proving these allegations?
Look in any paper in New York State it's reported often. I think we have the highest education expense per student in the country and our results are at best, slightly better than mid pack. 
+David Carroll 
Wash DC has highest per student expense and is worst school system in country.

NY is ordinary, but teachers get good compensation and excellent benefits. Those benefits are beyond most benefits even for engineering professionals. Unions have demanded and won concessions over the past 30 years.

These are things that are not well known to NY citizens or Americans.
Lets all embrace a Republican world where if you are rich you get the best education money can buy.

But if you are a poor child, good worries, you rich guys will pay for those poor kids after they drop out, use up all the charity hospitals beds, and fill up the prisons. Thats what happens when you deny poor kids a high quality public education.

Just come visit Republicant Governor "Oops" Perry's state of Texas where he has stripped $5 Billion dollars from our kids schools. Thats why his state is now rated worst in literacy rates, drop out HS rates, and childhood poverty. We do it big down here in Texas baby!
Obviously teachers wages are decided at a state level here in Utah they average between 32k and 45k a year even with a masters degree your looking at 55k, and that's with an average classroom size of 40 students. I think that teachers should be well paid, better than they are here, look at what they do. Yes, not all teachers are perfect but for the majority you have to give them the benefit of the doubt and trust them with the betterment of your child.

I do agree with the above research publication that stated that head start in the end did not benefit the kids, I am no where near a Repub. I just believe in putting the money where the money is going to be most useful, more after school programs instead?
+chris brown I hope that's an outlier report, or we're really screwed as a country, having three students in NY schools I know first hand how poor they are and I live in a better part of the state, where our local school is ranked in the top 10 year after year. 
+David Carroll for the record, we are really screwed as a country. Maybe you just don't realize how much worse it is everywhere else?
+David Carroll maybe you should take a trip out to my neck of the woods and see what a "poor" education system is, and I'm not speaking for someone that lives in a poor area.
+David Carroll and +Sonya Heddle 
Teachers are people. Almost all do their best.

SH - you say between $32&$45k/yr. Most teachers are required to continue their education by the local authorities. They achieve a master's degree within 10 years or so of graduating with a BS in Ed if they are motivated. Is that not the case in UT? How are schools ranked in UT versus the rest of the country?

DC - "three students in NY schools" Are they learning?
"I know first hand how poor they are [the schools] and I live in better part of state". I though NY schools were above average. Are your schools above the national averages (whatever that means)?
There are a lot of educated pre - school teachers if you really knew about Headstart you would know that its a gov requirement uhm uhm!!!!
And a lot of our parents send their children to private school!
+Ed Bradford No that is not a requirement here.. we are rated....drum roll please....42nd.

+Dianna Harris I don't think anyone was implying there was uneducated preschool teachers..
It doesn't matter, as long as texas determines what is in the text books we'll all be learning about jesus riding a velociraptor.
I understand there are a lot of very well educated pre-school teachers. My question is what is the value of that education (which translates directly to higher salaries) for preschool education? Especially if those preschool teachers just graduated from college, have no kids and have no experience raising kids? I think eduation for pre-school teachers is overvalued. You might disagree, but if you do, you should say just what the value is compared to a mom who has already successfully raised three or more kids and who only
wants to help society and wont demand extraordinary wages.

+Dianna Harris 
I sent my kids to public pre-school and we participated directly in the school. Head start existed at the time.
I dont know were u live but here in tx it is and hopefully we will soon get rid of the bible thumping gop and there ass backwards ways
I live in TX, volunteer in Austin public schools and sent my kids to public schools here
in TX. Do you have something substantive to say?
I think part of the ranking system is based upon % of graduates, not taking into account how long it takes to finish HS, or that the standardized tests seem to be lowering the standards regularly. 
The whole point of Head Start is to help kids who are At-Risk of dropping out, becoming pregnant teens, or worst from going down that path and staying in school. And to say they are comparable to their peers means the program is working. Because without it they may have chosen other paths. So how about we look at the drug use, drop out rate, and teen pregnancy rates for those who attended head start verses those who didn't then you can better judge why this program is so vital to those in it. And I am speaking from the perspective of an educator straight out of college no kids and yes I expect to get paid because some of the recommendations I have for my kids their own parents would not have thought of them in a million years. And its idiots out their that constantly devalue what we do as teachers thinking any trained monkey with a kid can do it and be great when you don't know half of the knowledge base you need to successfully teach a child new skills. 
Ummm I'm confused I thought head start was for 3 and 4 year olds I didn't think they would be high risk for pregnancy and drug use. The study clearly showed at home and in class there was no difference in the children by 3rd grade. I believe that early in life children are highly adaptable and resourceful, as they get older and hormones and peer pressure and the stressors of life begin to take their toll, that is when our kids need the most attention.
I think in order to really understand the importance of Head Start and how being in it can change the course of a child's life, even at 3, (because threw the program the parents can also seek help which in the end can reflect back on how they raise their child) you have to be some sort of educator who can look at the several stepping stones of education and how each peice builds onto the next. And fyi this is no new initiative Head Start has been around since 1965. 
Study after study shows that early access to numbers and literacy set kids up for success in ways that later teaching can't.  While I'm not a fan of politicians telling educators how to do our jobs, the president was right when he compared it to a race.  Imagine entering Kindergarten (which is now mandatory in manystates) or first grade knowing a handful of letters and sounds and numbers only through 10.  Some classmates know all their letters and sounds, numbers through 50 or 100, and are even emergent readers. We call the the acheivement gap, and yes it starts as young as 3.  It gets harder to close over time, and if kids aren't reading on grade level by 3rd grade they are far less likely to graduate high school, go to college, and get high earning jobs.  The research started back in 1965 to follow head start kids! Middle school is too late.  
All children need education,it should not matter were you come from...we the people pay for the War that was in Iraq. SO WE THE PEOPLE SHOULD NOT DEBATE ON PRESCHOOLERS GETTING EDUCATED! 
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Dre, I don't know what it's like to be black, and living during those times of blantant segregation.  During my upbringing, it was settling for the status quo, and peer pressure during those days was very heavy on a child's shoulders.  To be accepted, you had to fit in/conform to your surroundings, and in this case, it was living in a big city neighborhood.  NO WAY IS THIS AN EXCUSE FOR BIGOTRY AND RACISM.  I was a 16 yr. old on the day that I was home, watching TV, when all TV programming was pre-empted for Dr. Kings Dream Speech.  I listened intently because of my dad.  He raised us, not to accept the status quo, and he compared fitting in, to being placed in a pigeon hole.  In all my childhood and adult years, I NEVER heard him say/do anything that was bigoted/racist.  Why?  Beacause he loved GOD, his country, his family and his Italian heritage, and that's how I was raised, and because this man told me that wherever I am in life, be there as, ''THE STUDENT'', "...and to remember that no one ever learned anything, by just talking".  So I became a patient listener and observer, but had to take the next step, which is speak and listen to 'LEARN'.  My dad and Dr. King were [TEACHERS] in the human sense, teaching from life's experiences, and not because you had the PAPERS that said you are.   During my careeer in Law Enforcement, one of my assignments, had me working in the inner city schools.  My favorite grades were K-6, and I always looked forward to being with the pre-schoolers, which to me was/is a critical time of a child's developement.  This debate leads me to a saying of mine, ''THEY SAY THE FIRST VICTIM OF WAR IS TRUTH, I SAY THE FIRST VICTIMS OF OUR LIES ARE, AND ALWAYS WILL BE THE CHILDREN''.   Dre, we are debating, discussing and dialoguing our way of life, into the hands of our enemies, both physical and spiritual.  I saw what these things accomplished on a spring day, in the month september, in the city of NY, at a place that is called ground zero.  The miracle of that day was that none of the deaths/injuries included children.   Unless all of us, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN TRULY AND ACTIVELY listen, observe and then realize that if there's to be a dicussions, dialogues, and debates, then it's up to us to keep them heated up.   Are we raising the next generation of leaders, or the next generation of victims.   I say to you Dre, thank and GOD bless you, your family and all those who are still paving the way, and are still paying the dues.
+Hallie Brooks 
"Study after study" (government mandated annual Head Start studies)
declare that by the third grade there is no measurable difference from
the 3yr-old cohorts or 4yr-old cohorts who participated in Head Start
and those who do not.

Are there studies that disagree with the government mandated reports?
If so please show me.

Head Start should be recognized and funded as a child care (daytime
babysitting)  -- NOT EDUCATION -- issue.

It would cost a lot less!
Jose.   Whenever I hear, see, read comments on the way ['OUR ELECTED, (BY US) OFFICIALS'] are/not doing I hear, see, read words like they, them, you, I, somebody, me, and the one word I very seldomly see, hear, read, is the first word of our Constitution, ''W-E'' The People.  "W-E" have stopped becoming a "W-E".  [OUR] Constitution is an old document, and in some minor areas can be 'tweaked' a little, BUT....''W-E   T-H-E   P-E-O-P-L-E'' are, and always will be timeless.   No other country's constitution (the few that exist) have those words in large bold writing, as our's does.    "W-E", Jose, "W-E"  should hold our officials that "W-E'' elected, [CONSTANTLY ACCOUNTABLE] as 'OUR REPRESENTATIVES' in what they do.  Oh, by the way, this is the theme of 'OUR' Constitution.    When of all us 'I's' stop with the political comedy stand up routines, and stop the namby/pamby, whining, crying, complaining about our fare share (whatever the hell that means) crying, hissy fittin', crackin' the jokes/funny cartoons, and get up off our consumeristic fat lazy asses, and take a peep at how our country is in deep.....crap.   I said consumeristic fat lazy asses, because we make the consumeristic Ancient Roman Empire, look like yard sale.  'OUR' Constsitution gives us one thing, that mostly all other countries don't.  [ A CHANCE ]  A chance at Justice, A chance for Life, A chance for liberty, A chance for happiness,  A CHANCE TO HOLD OUR GOV'T ACCOUNTABLE.    A chance, but no guarantees, and this 'CHANCE' is being trampled on for the sake of some consumeristic loose canon creature comforts.  And what pisses me the most, is that, through our american bred, selective memories, we seem to forget the people who are giving there last full measure of devotion, so that we can piss away this [CHANCE]  Our Military and our Law Enforcement, and the collateral damage are always, ''THE CHILDREN''.  Jose, my friend, I'm not singling you out, for I inlcude myself into this.  There was a saying in the comic strip Doonesbury, that is appropiate right now:  ''WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND THEY IS US''.  Please stay in touch.
It seems Ed has no clue what is done in a Head Start program. So maybe you should stop making terrible claims because you read a survey and go visit a few Head start program. Because you seem to be a bit disrespectful and ignorant of the great work me and my coworkers do
Head Start has overqualified (over paid) teachers whose net effect is to perform
child care. In 3rd grade kids have zero advantage over those who did not attend.

Do you, +Sharun Holman want to invest in such a program?
Read the annual reports from the government that are mandated by law.

Have you done that?
Cruising next to you to see inside your car?  Hm!  Jose, there are some peoples bitterness toward Law Enforcement is well founded.  Here's what I've learned in life.  Money and power only magnify what a person has always been.  If your an asshole before, when the money or power come along, it makes you a bigger one.  You'd be suprised to know that these kind of officers, do not get many high fives from other officers, and usually don't have many officers waiting in line to ride with them, but for the most part, Police work is not a pick and choose, on assignments and partners.  I have a saying concerning Police work:  "We can rarely speak for another Officer, but we always have to answer for them".  With that being said, please remember that the other 99.5% really work hard at doing the job, as it's suppose to be done.  Jose, the mid-south, as you've explained it, doesn't have the market cornered on those kind of people.  I've lived and worked in an area called the Mid-Atlantic states, and the ''WE's", are also few in number there.  Look, I say these things, sometimes being hard with fiery passion because I deeply love my country, and consider the American people as hard working, caring people.  I saw that on 911 and when I worked the NY disaster areas of Hurricane Sandy.  In all the countries I've been in, not one can come close to this country and its people.  But what saddens me the most is that we are losing our grip on the "DREAMS".  The dreams of our Founding Fathers, and the dreams of Dr. King, with both of these dreams  approaching being nightmares.  This is a general question meant for all of us, ''WHY SHOULD GOD BLESS AMERICA''?  GOD'S LOVE MAY BE ETERNAL, BUT HIS PATIENCE IS NOT''  Stay in touch, and thank you for your comments.
Ok you just made me hunt down my copy of the Third Grade Follow-up to the Head Start Impact Study: Final Report a wonderful 346 page report (That I assume you have read being that you keep quoting it) and it states on page 12 all the programs still covered by Head Start that they did not use when creating this research. So if at your Head Start program you also had Early Head Start, Native tribal programs, or a migrant program your entire community was excluded. Which means this study does not show the true impact of all aspects of Head Start. And seriously with the money part Ed Head Start has over 1,320,050 volunteers of that number 893,639 are current or former parents of the Head Start program. 60,000 staff members are former Head Start parents. Also, as a Teacher with your Bachelors degree your average salary is $26,000. That is considered over priced people in warehouses with no experience can make more then that an never see inside of a college building. And the concept of an overqualified Teacher is idiotic we are required to constantly take courses (some time at our own expense) to ensure we have the most current knowledge within our field and these trainings or classes dont even reflect our pay. So again if you  look at the level of education, experience, and training many Teachers have you would understand how $26, 000 is not nearly enough. Im pretty where ever you work Ed your job does not require you to have a Bachelors and experience then tells your your average salary is $26,000..
And there is no annual mandated report In 1998 Congress mandated 1 INTENSIVE STUDY which issued several reports. Which means we are just getting the data as it comes in but the results are still from the ONE sample group of 5,000 kids from 2001. So we just followed 5,000 kids from age 3/4 to Kindergarten 1st grade then 3rd. So we are just getting the complete final report.
Jose, it's just  not what we are doing to others that will invoke GOD'S judgement on us, it's what we are NOT doing for HIM.  It's not obedience to the world that angers GOD, but disobedience to HIM, and that's why GOD created us, .......OBEDIENCE TO HIM.   Look, if some don't see The Bible as a Holy Book, then see it as a book of prophecies, promises, warnings, without one lie.  NOT ONE, and every one of those will be fulfilled, ALL OF THEM, and it's happening now.   Throughout the centuries, we have interpreted/translated lies into the Bible, resulting in calling GOD a liar.  In the Bible. there's only one king of lies......Satan, and to call GOD a liar, puts HIM on an even plain with Satan.  Anywhere in history, up to today, those civilizations, those people, those groups who worshipped false gods AND who worshiped GOD falsely, have ceased to exist, but like today, when they did and/or are doing, many of us, ESPECIALLY THE CHILDREN, will go down with them.  Jose, hell most definatley exists, and when GOD condemns those to hell, HE does so without any exceptions, and that most assuredly includes those 'RELIGIOUS LEADERS'  (like the pharasees) who have incorporated lies into The Bible, for their own purpose.  These are not future events, they are happening right now, but as long as we 'FOLLOW THE LIES' we'll never see GOD'S hand coming.  Stay in touch, and thank you for your comments.
Sharun, what geographical area do those 5,000 children represent?  Would that include the income levels, if these children were being raised by one/two parents, or anyother family member?  Did they remain in the same schools, or were some of them in different schools due to moving into a different area?  And what were the discipline problems?   Sharun, don't sweat the answers, because these are general questions, and I hope the answers will be there.  It just seems like that when it comes to the education of our children, we take so very much for granted, expecting 'A GIVEN OF GUARANTEES', that other people are responsible for.  Thank you for your concern and comments.  Please stay in touch.
Jose:  Alot of us think the term, 'FAITH BASED' is something that only pretains to Christianity.  IT DOESN'T.  We are NOT to criticize, condemn, ridicule, and ['JUDGE'] anyone/group for their 'FAITH BASED BELIEFS'.  Christianity, today, is extremely hypocritical on 'WHO'S IN AND WHO'S OUT'.  Apostle Paul said, " be all things to all men....".  NO!  This doesn't mean being assimulating, fitting in, being a phony.....being a hypocrit, just so that we Christians can get '[OUR'] MESSAGE ACROSS'.  Paul knew that GOD would present to him, as today with us, common ground, in all faith based beliefs, so we can get ['HIS'] 'GOOD NEWS' TOLD THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.  This is nothing new, but what we have today are 'CHURCH CLIQUES' which are built on 'SOCIALIZING', instead of the message of trust and redemption in JESUS CHRIST.   There was a time when I was new to an area, and through discussion, I was asked if I am a Christian, and who is JESUS CHRIST in my life?  Same situation today, I've been asked if I belong to a Church, taking for granted that I already qualify as a Christian and I know who JESUS CHRIST is.  Then I ask only one question, ''WHY SHOULD I BE A MEMBER OF YOUR CHURCH''?  the universal answers I receive, pretain to 'SOCIAL NETWORKING', for example; trips, picnics, seminars, functions, events, it's more like a membership drive.   NOT ONE TIME DID I HEAR ANYTHING ABOUT JESUS CHRIST, SCRIPTURES, CALVARY, REDEMPTION, and most of all, this should've been a time of prayer for direction and guidance.....IT WASN'T, ....BUT.....Paul also said that in all things--PRAY.  GOD will speak to us through our circustances, and HIS answers will always----ALWAYS----be a clear understanding on knowing who HE is, so that we can tell others.  Don't despair, my friend, for as Oswald chambers said, "...Our Lord will come to us and will take the spiritual initiative against our despair, and, in effect, is teling us to "GET UP, AND DO THE NEXT THING''.  If we are inspired by GOD, what is the next thing?  IT IS TO TRUST HIM-[ABSOLUTELY']--AND TO  PRAY ON THE BASIS OF HIS REDEMPTION.   Never let the sense of past failure defeat your next step, because JESUS said, "....I AM WITH YOU FOR A LITTLE WHILE''.  Clocks ticking, Jose, spend each tick with GOD.  I do look forward to your comments and concerns, and I thank you for them.  Read Hebrews 13:5,6.  This should be the cornerstone scripture, for all of us.
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