TribLIVE

| Opinion/The Review


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Fight crime? A dubious program

Daily Photo Galleries

Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Use of evidence that's selective at best, discredited at worst, makes worthless a law-enforcement group's case for President Obama's 10-year, $75 billion universal preschool proposal.

Consisting of more than 5,000 police officers, sheriffs and prosecutors, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids just released a study that claims Mr. Obama's proposal would result in long-term savings equal to its cost by reducing future incarcerations, The Daily Caller reports.

Grover Whitehurst, director of the Brookings Institution's Brown Center on Education Policy, says the group's claims rely on at least one “seriously flawed” prior study. There's “no reason to believe that the treatment and control” groups of children in the Chicago study that concerned a pre-kindergarten program “were similar to begin with.” Yet that Chicago study is the “primary resource used for the estimates in the Fight Crime report.”

Mr. Whitehurst also says that even if early education does cut future “incarceration rates among disadvantaged kids, there is no reason to expect that expanding the program to children from middle-class families would have the same effect.” Yet that's essentially what Obama wants to do.

The federal government itself says Head Start, costing $8 billion annually, hasn't produced lasting benefits for disadvantaged kids — a far better argument against nearly doubling preschool spending for 10 years than any that the Fight Crime study makes for Obama's plan.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Editorials

  1. The turnpike scandal: More wet noodles
  2. Sunday pops
  3. The Box
  4. Obama’s amnesty: Abuse of power
  5. Pittsburgh Tuesday takes
  6. The Thursday wrap
  7. Liquor reform for a gas extraction tax?: It should be a nonstarter
  8. Greensburg Tuesday takes
  9. Alle-Kiski Tuesday takes
  10. Ford City’s police: A taxing question
  11. Thanksgiving 2014: A season for giving
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.