The Universal Pre-K Debate
Universal pre-kindergarten. That’s the notion that preschool, especially the year just before kindergarten, should be free for everyone. It’s an idea with broad bipartisan support, and champions at the highest levels of government. Many cities and states already have begun to move towards universal pre-k. Advocates say good programs can help low-income kids catch up with their peers, and that making pre-k universal benefits everyone. But the question of whether pre-k makes a difference in the long run is sharply debated. What does the evidence suggest pre-K can do for children? Is making it universal the best way to help disadvantaged kids? The pros and cons of universal pre-k.
Our guests: Katherine Stevens, Research Fellow in Education and Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, and Steve Barnett, director of the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University.