Fox all-stars debate Obama’s plan for universal preschool

Obama at a preschool
Photo credit: Evan Vucci, via Business Insider
Fallout from the liberals’ “cradle-to-grave” philosophy rears its head every day. This time, it’s Obama’s new entitlement proposal that’s sparking a national debate, with conflicting studies purportedly backing both sides.

The Daily Beast’s Kirsten Powers joined Fox News analysts, Judge Andrew Napolitano and Charles Krauthammer, to debate federally funded, mandatory pre-K programs, the latest initiatives to flow from the liberal camp.

The pundits cited a congressionally mandated study conducted in December 2012 by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation. The report debunks the value of Head Start, the program Obama seeks to expand. The agency describes the study on its website this way:

“Report of the Third Grade Follow-up to the Head Start Impact Study, a nationally representative evaluation of the federal Head Start program. The evaluation studied children who entered the program in the fall of 2002. The report presents impacts on children and families through the children’s third grade year, as well as impacts on subgroups of children and families.”

Findings pointed to the Head Start program’s failure to make a sustained impact on children throughout their elementary years.

Napolitano’s opinion was clear, repeating his publically stated stand that the federal government is a failure when it gets involved in education.

“Obama’s outdoing Woodrow Wilson,” Napolitano said. “This is not the job of government to take care of babies. It’s the job of families.”

Krauthammer called the proposal, which Obama touted during Tuesday’s State of the Union address, “useless” and “offensive.”

He was not particularly shocked, given the president’s track record, that the new entitlement comes at a time when the U.S. debt has hit unprecedented levels, according to the Fox News video. The syndicated columnist’s outrage was more focused on a study that confirms what Krauthammer says is “the $7 billion a year we spend on Head Start doesn’t make any difference after the third grade.”

“It’s the definition of a liberal,” Krauthammer repeated more than once. “A liberal doesn’t care what you do as long as it’s mandatory.”

Powers hedged her comments by saying she thinks the government can, and should, be involved, while agreeing that the pre-K program should not be universal. She dismissed the various studies Obama cited as a whole.

“This isn’t a liberal or conservative thing,” Powers said. “I think everyone wants to help our children do better in school. It’s just that this doesn’t seem to be the thing that’s doing it.”

The full study on Head Start – Third Grade Follow-up to the Head Start Impact Study: Final Report

Education Week evaluates the study: Head Start Advantages Mostly Gone by 3rd Grade, Study Finds

Fox  News Video:


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