Obama introduced a proposal recently for federally mandated and paid for early education programs for preschoolers. He did so using Oklahoma’s program — a very Republican state — as an example of a successful program (and it is), and also made the interesting claim that his plan would be budget-neutral. It seems like this plan has everything: a better educational program and better-educated kids, no negative impact on the deficit and seemingly bipartisan. There are questions to be answered, but overall it sounds very promising.
“”Not so,” cries Fox News! “It’s terrible and socialist, it’s more Big Government, it doesn’t help the kids!” Almost makes you expect them to start frothing at the mouth. Okay, it isn’t that bad, but you’d wouldn’t expect anyone to make Head Start sound this depressing. Here’s the clip, thanks to Raw Story.
They fail to mention a few things in the video. It might have been that they just didn’t know, and we’ll let them have the benefit of the doubt. For example, if they had looked just a little bit deeper into the Oklahoma school system before they said the program didn’t make the other children score higher, they would have seen that the only children for whom the “effect wore off” were the ones who participated in the new program the first year it was implemented. As the program matures and teachers in higher grades adjust their course material because of the higher-scoring new classes each year, the children who participated in the preschool program do markedly better than their peers.
I guess the great investigative reporters over at Fox forgot to mention that to the show or something.
That’s not to say that the Oklahoma program doesn’t come with problems. First of all, it does cost over seven thousand dollars per child, per day to maintain, and although the Obama administration stated that the plan would be budget-neutral, they haven’t stated an explicit plan for how they plan to do it. Details were promised to come later, giving the feeling that such a plan is still very early in development and the “hows” weren’t written into it yet.
No matter how good the plan is in the end, though, we can expect the good folks over at Fox & Friends to try as hard as they can do deceive their audience.