National Review / Digital
Pre-K Decay
Preschool advocates’ claims of success are based on faulty methodology
(Kristian Sekulic)


The evidence seemed overwhelming. When Rutgers professor Steven Barnett gave a congressional briefing on preschool last spring, he touted higher test scores, improved graduation rates, reduced crime, less welfare use, and other benefits large and small. More than a hundred studies over 50 years had documented the positive impact of preschool, and the more rigorous ones had found the larger effects. The benefits were shown to far outstrip the costs. High-quality preschool clearly works, according to the presentation, and now the challenge is to give as many children as possible access to its benefits.

Just by looking at the presentation slides, you would never have guessed that, only a few months earlier, the nation’s largest preschool program had been found to confer no lasting benefits on children.

February 24, 2014    |     Volume LXVI, No. 3

  • The Republican party is newly awash with ideas.
  • The EU discovers that it needs affordable energy.
  • Preschool advocates’ claims of success are based on faulty methodology.
  • Our financial regulations tend toward lesser clarity and greater expense.
  • An immigrant’s travails at the DMV.
Books, Arts & Manners
  • Lee Edwards reviews Living on Fire: The Life of L. Brent Bozell, by Daniel Kelly.
  • Bing West reviews Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, by Robert M. Gates.
  • Robert VerBruggen reviews The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success, by Megan McArdle.
  • Ross Douthat reviews the two most striking Oscar snubs—Inside Llewyn Davis and All Is Lost.
  • Richard Brookhiser discusses horse racing.
The Long View  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Athwart  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Poetry  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Happy Warrior  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .