Even #progressive media can’t report #education in helpful ways, @maddow

I listened to this segment on satellite radio the other night. Rachel Maddow was talking the President’s pre-K plan. Here’s more about it from the Maddow Blog. At this point, I can’t even discern who the guest was on the show, some dude. He was clearly an economist. He did some study on the benefits of Pre-K as a worthwhile “investment.” I don’t necessarily disagree with that point. But Maddow pressed him a couple of times on how or why certain Pre-K programs were of better “quality.” He just couldn’t answer her question. He kept talking about high quality programs and how they’re a better investment and all of that. He could not, however, get into any specifics. Why? Well, I said this in my car, as I quite frequently talk to my radio:

HE’S AN ECONOMIST, THAT’S WHY. Even on so-called progressive, lean-forward kind of media, we see education persistently discussed in economic terms. Sure, it takes money to pay for them. I get it. Yet, economics dominate the conversation. If we want to peel away at that onion and really get into a good dialogue about what makes certain kinds of education successful or not, then we have to ask the educators, not the economists.

How difficult is this to understand?

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Comments

  1. I’d bet Maddow was talking to James Heckman of the University of Chicago. He claims an annual return of 7 to 10 percent for “high-quality” childhood education, due to “non-cognitive” skills gained. I have to believe those kids picked up general knowledge, too, that benefited them once they started school.

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