A few self-links

  1. This morning I posted “What a new preschool study tells us about early child education – and about impact evaluation” over at Development Impact, about an interesting study “Cognitive science in the field: A preschool intervention durably enhances intuitive but not formal mathematics,” which is a randomized controlled trial in Delhi, India.
  2. You can also just watch the researchers explain that paper below.

3. The French version of my post, “A Framework for Taking Evidence from One Location to Another,” based on the work of Mary Ann Bates and Rachel Glennerster, is now available:  Comment déterminer si un projet avec de bons résultats dans un pays fonctionnera ailleurs ?

4. The Portuguese version of my post, “Are good school principals born or can they be made?” based on the work of Roland Fryer and others, is now available: Os bons diretores da escola nascem ou podem ser criados?

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the case AGAINST investing in young children

I read a lot of evidence in favor of investing in young children.  For example, the following from Nobel laureate James Heckman and co-author Masterov:

We argue that, on productivity grounds, it makes sense to invest in young children from disadvantaged environments. Substantial evidence shows that these children are more likely to commit crime, have out-of-wedlock births and drop out of school. Early interventions that partially remediate the effects of adverse environments can reverse some of the harm of disadvantage and have a high economic return. They benefit not only the children themselves, but also their children, as well as society at large.

So I was refreshed today to finally see the other side of the coin.  I’d say, both by the gravitas of the author and the power of the argument, it pretty much balances out the argument:

My problem is the children themselves. They may be cute, but they are here to replace us. Need proof? Ever catch one walking around in your shoes? That’s a chilling moment, like finding an empty body snatcher pod in the basement.

“But children are our future!” Yes, but does that not also mean that we are their past? I don’t understand why we’re helping them. You don’t see union factory workers throwing a benefit for robots. (from I Am America, by Stephon Colbert, p10)

Quod Erat Demonstrandum