Just this week I wrote another blog about the importance of early childhood education. I stay by that and believe it wholeheartedly. But today there was another opinion by Chester Finn in the Washington Post. Dr. Finn argues that the investment in universal early childhood education siphons money away from families that could be better used, provides resources to children whose families don't need it, has limited impact on long-term educational outcomes, and does not address the issues that limit the scope and effectiveness of Head Start. Well... That is a different story.
While I don't agree with Dr. Finn completely on any of these points, we should listen. Because if he is even partially right the points he raises have implications for what is funded and how much, how we evaluate these programs and why, and most importantly, prevents us from making some serious mistakes that would prevent children from getting the start they need. Rather than reject out of whole cloth as was my first instinct, I am re-reading, doing some research, and taking note. His recommendations for what to do are also important to vet. Children and their future cannot be a partisan issue.