02.19.2013 17

Obama’s Platonic Head Start expansion

By Bill Wilson — “I propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every single child in America.”

That was Barack Obama’s State of the Union plan to dramatically expand the current $8 billion a year Head Start program administered by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Head Start, which began in 1965 as a part of Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” has been incrementally expanded over the years from a just a summer program to being a year-round preschool and day care service for children between the ages of 3 to 5.

Obama claimed that “fewer than three in ten 4-year-olds are enrolled” in a preschool program. So now he wants enrollment to become universal.

It harkens back Plato’s Republic, which advocated children be mandatorily placed in the care of the state guardians at very young ages.

Except, right after his big speech, the White House contradicted Obama by suggesting that only families up to 200 percent of the poverty level instead of the current 130 percent would even qualify for his Head Start expansion.

Not exactly universal. But it will still end up costing billions more every year.

But does Head Start even work? Obama alleged that “study after study shows that the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road,” but he appeared to ignore findings from the Department that found the program was ineffective at best.

The study created a control group for children who were not enrolled in Head Start — these children were either in parental care or used private day care or other preschool options.

In fact, the study revealed that Head Start “had few impacts on children in kindergarten through 3rd grade” versus those who had not been enrolled. Why? “[E]arly effects rapidly dissipated in elementary school, with only a single impact remaining at the end of 3rd grade for children in each age cohort.”

So, what’s the point? If the program does not even enhance performance once in elementary school, then why spend any money on Head Start at all? It sounds more like a free daycare, which might be helpful to parents, but that is not the case Obama is making.

Obama lied just so he could pretend to “care” about the kids, merely for the propaganda effect. He doesn’t care about them, and he doesn’t care about the facts.

But if Congress really cares, perhaps they will eliminate Head Start and spend half that amount, $4 billion, in competitive grants to states that engage in early literacy programs with an emphasis on Phonics — giving children the building blocks they need to become successful readers and students in the future.

At least then you’d have something that actually might improve the students’ performance when in school.

By the Department of Health and Human Services’ own admission Head Start has “few impacts” once the child leaves, putting the lie to Obama’s Platonic fantasy. Replacing it with a literacy program just makes sense, after all, “reading is fundamental.”

Bill Wilson is the President of Americans for Limited Government. You can follow Bill on Twitter at @BillWilsonALG.

  • pduffy

    The welfare of the child is not the intent of these programs, but rather to keep the cash flowing to the unionized labor of government-run ‘education’ system. The more they fail, the more they demand an increase in funding. After all, the reason they keep failing is that the taxpayers didn’t give them enough money, and starting the indoctrination at age 5 is too risky. They need to start from the day the child comes out of the womb (that is if the child is lucky enough to escape abortion). That way, they can guarantee the outcome of a goverrnment-raised, the-state-is-god, child will always vote democrat.

  • It might be better than leaving a child sitting in front of a television all day. It’s certainly not ideal for ALL children. It may also be an option for working moms in need of part time child care.

  • Wiseoldlady

    This is so they can brainwash these children into their evil agenda at a very early age to teach them everything that is wrong and not principled. DO NOT FALL FOR THIS HYPE.

  • althea5794

    This has less to do with cashflow and more to do with controlling the population through very VERY early “education” (meaning ‘propaganda’). Bella Dodd enumerated this whole concept in her book, School of Darkness, where she exposed the agenda of the communists in creating their totalitarian society by indoctrinating citizens very early in their lives. Take them from their parents, and give them to the state. Distrust of the former will eventually cause dependence on the latter. The fact that the govt wants to attempt to control the minds of our youngest citizens is nothing new. The fact that no one sees it for what it is, is terrifying to me.

  • jwatersphd

    If there are gains, but they dissipate when the intervention stops, the intervention should continue. If education is “indoctrination” that’s wrong, but proposing sitting in front of a tv or indoctrination in fantasy based alternatives is not the solution.

  • Hotnike

    Knowing Obama he wants the kids in a public school so that they can be brainwashed. I do not trust the Sumbag.

  • boone

    All pre kindergarten is simply baby sitting funded by taxpayers

  • Miss Betty

    I have worked in that field, and can tell you this. I would not put my animals in pre-schools that exist today. Home school your children folks. If you think you and your spouse have to both work, then find a good “sitter” that also knows how to educate your child, or children. Its gonna cost you, one way or the other.

  • BeBraveUSA

    Possibly indoctrination…More likely the babysitting equivalent of free Obama Phones.

  • Head Start has been a disaster when you consider that we spend $8 Billion a year or $9000 per kid with no appreciable long term positive effects. Now President Odumbo wANTS to spent 9 times as much and pour more money down the rat hole. Note to Barry: even if it was a good idea we DON’T HAVE THE MONEY!!!

  • Yeah right, so you can indoctrinate them nice and early

  • WhiteFalcon

    The expansion of a program that has been shown over and over to be useless. That is the height of the intelligence of this moron president.


    womb to tome ;;communist bast666rd.


    this communist must go.

  • FloridaJim

    The government just came out with a report on Head Start and said it has been a massive failure by third grade those who came from head start were behind all others in learning! Can’t you realize nothing the government does is working it is all a fraud.

  • Princeton67atCoxdotnet

    I hope they’ll give the kids snazzy uniforms; Obama’s minions a la Hitler Youth.

  • Eric Brian

    It’s earlier-than-normal forced indoc by the communist islamofascist womb-to-tomb propaganda program. More of the littlest children will sing 0bama songs and salute him like good little Hitler Youth, paint Chairman Mao’s picture, distrust their parents/guardians and become good little Democan’t statists, and tattle tales about what happens at home.

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