Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

I went to say, thank you, to Elmbrook School Board

4-K, Education, Elmbrook

Last night I stopped in at the Elmbrook School Board meeting to say, thank you, to the board. I had heard there might be a group of impassioned pro-4K parents making their pleas during the public forum time and thought a different point of view might be in order.

I thanked them for acting in a fiscally responsible manner last fall when they discontinued 4K. True, parents and children loved 4K, but popularity alone isn't a valid reason for implementation. I also encouraged them to evaluate all programs and purchases in that same way because Elmbrook cannot afford to spend its precious taxpayer dollars on programs that don't show long term academic benefit.

Turns out, the group consisted of 2 pro 4K speakers. I came in half way through one woman's talk. She was disputing the validity of the Goldwater Institutes's preschool studies. She said something about that institute being against public education and so their results were skewed. (Watch the cable broadcast for her exact words.) 

There are of course many studies on the benefits of preschool. The ones I have seen all conclude the same: Students who attend preschool show short term benefit but no long lasting academic benefit.


Home School Legal Defense group still sends me email updates. This latest one cites some unpleasant results of preschool that are often ignored by the pro preschool groups. (Emphasis mine)

While proponents of institutionalized early education support their claim that pre-K is necessary and effective by pointing to childhood education research, the results of such studies are, at best, mixed. Many pre-K advocates cite the massive studies on child care and youth development sponsored by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to bolster support for institutionalized early education programs. While many NICHD studies do, in fact, report some positive effects of pre-K, they simultaneously indicate several negative outcomes of early education programs. For example, in 2007 the NICHD reported in a single study that early childcare increased children's vocabulary, but that children who spent more time in institutionalized pre-K were more likely than their non pre-schooled counterparts to exhibit problematic behaviors, such as bullying, aggression, and acting out, through the sixth grade.1 Proponents of government-funded early education often tout the first part of this study, which reflects favorably on pre-K, while ironically neglecting to mention the latter portion of the report. Such cherry picking is academically dishonest and hardly sound methodology for designing and implementing public education policy. ( “Early Child Care Linked to Increases in Vocabulary, Some Problem Behaviors in Fifth and Sixth Grades.” National Institute of Child Health andHuman Development (NICHD). NIH News. 26 March 2007.)

As I stated in an earlier post, you could also look at schools that have had 4K for a long time. Their ACT scores for example are not leaps and bounds higher than non pre school districts.

If 4K is so beneficial, shouldn’t Shorewood’s ACT scores be consistently higher than our school district’s that didn’t offer 4K? The data shows that this year was the first in the past few years that Shorewood edged out Elmbrook’s ACT scores by 1.23 points.  Of the top 10 schools in Wisconsin (Elmbrook consistently is in the top 10), at least 7 had no 4K program at the time those students tested started school. Incidentally, over 250 school districts have 4K so there should have been a better showing in the top 10 if it is so helpful.

The speaker after my turn spoke on a different subject. She was questioning the appropriateness of Elmbrook allowing R rated and PG13 rated movies being shown to underage students. Platoon and Saving Private Ryan were named. Those I know have very foul language in them. I'm in agreement with her!

I then went to the Creation Science meeting to hear Kitty Foth-Regner's talk on her journey from atheism to Christianity, so I don't know what else transpired at the school board meeting. Kitty's talk was pretty amazing. Hopefully I will get to blogging about if. 

Please, comment content should relate to the subject of the post. Although I try to respond to many, do not interpret my lack of a response as agreement.



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