Minnesota's coming universal preschool debate

Please run, do not walk, to listen in on this online debate over California's Proposition 82, Preschool for All.

Arguing in favor is Susanna Cooper, director of communications for Preschool California, one of the organizations pushing for approval of Proposition 82. Arguing against is Joanne Jacobs, one of America's most respected edubloggers.

Jacobs says:
Proposition 82 makes half-day preschool for four-year-olds an entitlement for all families, regardless of financial need and regardless of their children?s needs.

This form of universal preschool is more than middle-class kids need: Educated parents can prepare their children for kindergarten without professional assistance. The very slight preschool benefit for middle-class kids fades out by third grade.

Proposition 82?s universal preschool is much less than disadvantaged children need: The most effective programs for needy children start at earlier ages, run for a full day and include home visits to teach skills to parents.

Minnesota's own Ready4K is lobbying for pre-k entitlement programs as we speak, with a canard about half of all children being unprepared for kindergarten. California's Prop 82 debate is an echo and a preview of Minnesota's well-funded early childhood education and universal preschool sales pitches.