5 Ridiculous Responses To Obama’s Universal Preschool Plan

It’s common knowledge that most brain growth occurs before children reach the age of kindergarten, which is why preschool is so important.

Just as most industrialized countries provide free, high-quality preschool for 3-, 4- and 5-year- olds, regardless of family income, so every toddler in the U.S. should have the opportunity to attend a high-quality, free preschool.

In the U.K., Luxembourg and the Netherlands  virtually all 4-year-olds go to public school; recent reports also indicate that 70 percent of German, Danish and Greek 4-year-olds go to public school, in addition to over 90 percent of 4- and 5-year-olds in France, Italy and Spain.

The picture in the U.S. is different. Sadly, as President Obama observed in his State of the Union address, “Today, fewer than three in ten 4-year-olds are enrolled in a high-quality preschool program. Most middle-class parents can’t afford a few hundred bucks a week for private preschool. And for poor kids who need help the most, the lack of access to preschool education can shadow them for the rest of their lives.”

The White House pointed out that at-risk kids who don’t go to preschool are:
•    25 percent more likely to drop out of school
•    60 percent more likely not to attend college
•    70 percent more likely to be arrested for a violent crime

Seen another way, poor children are behind from the beginning, both educationally and linguistically. Parents with professional jobs speak about 2,100 words an hour to toddlers, while those in poverty about 600, according to a study by Betty Hart and Todd Risley. The study says, “Between professional and welfare parents, there was a difference of almost 1,500 words spoken per hour.”

It’s called “the vocabulary gap,” and the failure to close that gap can lead to an achievement gap. This can lead to dropping out of school, and ongoing consequences like unemployment and involvement in crime.

Following his push for free, universal preschool in the State of the Union address, President Obama traveled to Atlanta last week to push his plan for universal early education. The proposal received great fanfare, and for good reason.

But not everyone agrees.

Here Are 5 Ridiculous Responses To Obama’s Universal Preschool Plan

*  After listening to Obama’s speech, House Speaker John Boehner declared flatly on the next day that the federal government getting involved in early childhood education is a “good way to screw it up.”

*  “It just doesn’t make any sense,” said Andrew J. Coulson, the director of the center for educational freedom at the Cato Institute, a libertarian group. “Why would you want to very expensively expand the programs like this if the evidence of effectiveness is not really sound?”

*  Fox’s Steve Varney suggested that Obama proposed universal preschool so that the current 4-year-olds will vote for him “in the future.” According to Alternet, Varney said Obama’s preschool plan is another example of the president offering “all kinds of free stuff to the people who will vote for you in the future.”

*  In another wonderful Fox News insight, Fox business host Gerri Willis characterized a program spending money to reduce high school dropout rates and teen pregnancies  this way: “Preschool for everyone, are you kidding me? We don’t have the money for that! … This is just crazy talk and I think it’s immoral to put this across as something that’s actually doable, when it’s not.”

*  Writing in The Daily Caller, Joy Pullman decries preschool as undermining family values. Her evidence: in 2010, Swedish researchers published an alarming study linking the country’s early childhood policies to a litany of evils: anxiety disorders, health problems, social neuroses, drops in learning, discipline problems, segregated labor markets, and more. Apparently, Sweden is becoming a social wreck. She warns President Obama to back off.

How depressing to read these responses to an idea that everyone should feel excited about. What do you think?


Related Care2 Coverage

More Than Half Of US Kids Do Not Attend Preschool

7 Great Moments From The State Of The Union

Teaching Reading Using…The Written Word


Photo Credit: thinkstock


Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson4 years ago

I went to preschool for two years, and was able to read at a third grade level at the age of 4. Preschool is a good thing, second only to super involved active parents who take an active roll in their children's education and development

Joe Beiter
Joseph Beiter4 years ago

yeah, the 4 year olds will DEFINITELY vote for Obama in the future ... In the next election..... When they're 7.
Obama 'll change the voting age to 6, too.

(Hope you're listening, Fox News...)

Fiona Fahey
Fiona Fahey4 years ago

Please disregard my previous comment: I had to leave my house and was typing quickly.

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill4 years ago

Where are we heading with this? Are we going to start putting infants into school? This is just a stupid idea to waste lots of money. Where is parental responsibility in all this?

Carla van der Meer

What a bunch of ninnies. Republicans are frightened of the strangest thing. 'Quick, grab your children, run! They are being threatened with (gasps of horror) FREE EDUCATION!!!!' Who knows where this might lead. Rejection of Faux 'news' as reality, a chance to succeed in life and (worst of all) intelligence.

Jane H.
Jane H4 years ago


Leslie Gaiter
Leslie Gaiter4 years ago

The downfall of society will be from our Ignorance of the truth and our Arrogance in thinking we know it all. These statements alone should have us running toward more education for our children.

We are use to the posturing of politicians, but journalist should be held to a standard of truth. We need a new national Truth in Journalism Law. The airwaves are owned by the public and journalist that use them should be required to report the truth and non-misleading stories.

Filippos Kastanomatakis

Ofcourse all European kids go to kindergarten=preschool. It's against the law to keep children away from kindergarten. Child abuse, denying a kid access to kindergarten. Most certainly.
Keeping kids stupid dates back to the Middle Ages. Poor American kids...

Heather Holland
Heather Holland4 years ago

thanks for sharing

Bruce S.
Bruce S4 years ago

All this makes me wonder how I (age 65) and all the people before me survived without the opportunity to go to "pre school". Today, people want all kinds of “services” without ANY REGARD for who will pay for them.