On the latest Tipping Point interview Paul sits down with past guest Katharine B. Stevens, PhD of the newly-formed Center on Child and Family Policy. Katharine is an expert on early childhood issues including pre-K and other programs aimed at improving the lives and outcomes of young children. New Mexico voters will be asked to vote to tap into the Land Grant Permanent Fund to fund “universal” pre-K, but a recent study from Tennessee’s Vanderbilt University which found negative outcomes from the State’s pre-K program.
Major flaws with UPK approach:
- PROOF POINTS: In two places, researchers find problems with expansion of free pre-K (Hechinger Reports on recent NYC and Tennessee studies)
- Pre-K Quality Stalls in New York City (Recent study by Bruce Fuller, Berkeley education professor, on NYC universal pre-K)
- Scaling Up Pre-K Statewide: Experimental Evaluation of the Policy (presentation on Tennessee study results by Dale Farran)
- A top researcher says it’s time to rethink our entire approach to preschool (NPR article on Tennessee study)
- Interactive map with data on New Mexico’s school achievement
Other approaches to improving outcomes for low-income children that we should be spending money on instead:
- Healthy Steps improves pediatric services provided by Medicaid, aiming to leverage the underutilized potential of the current system. They just received a $39 million national scale-up grant from Blue Meridian Partners (through an exceptionally rigorous evaluation process).
- Centering Healthcare Institute improves prenatal care through group medical visits — same cost as existing Medicaid-funded prenatal care but shown to get much better results.