The program itself emphasized language development and literacy, Reynolds noted.
Moreover, the program has provided continuity. "Because it's a school-based, there is continuing access to services, and kids stay in the same environment through elementary school," he said. "It promotes positive transitions from one grade to the next."
As overwhelmingly positive as these results appear, government-funded preschool programs, especially those for poor kids, have political implications, Reynolds said.
There isn't enough spending on high-quality services," he said. "The social program that has the biggest effects and the most enduring effects is preschool. But, there is a gap between what we know and what we fund."
"This program can reduce the disparities in education and success," Reynolds declared.
Reynolds added that while this program costs more than some other preschool programs, it pays dividends later in life because adults who went through the program are more likely to succeed and not burden public health programs or the legal system.
But not everyone believes that the federal government should be funding early childhood education programs.
Andrew J. Coulson, director of the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom, the "the study's findings on the Chicago Parent Center program are certainly interesting but they do not provide evidence in support of the authors' policy recommendations."
"While a few specific pre-K programs seem to have had lasting impacts, they appear to be exceptions rather than the rule," he said. "More specifically, the federal government's efforts to scale-up the success of those particular programs, over four decades and at very great cost, have not proven effective. Yet another study pointing to the effect of one of the three pre-K programs that did have lasting effects does not alter that picture," Coulson said.
Another expert who supports th
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