Report: Private pre-K outperforming public in Vermont

By Rob Roper

The House and Senate education committees got a preview of a report from the Agency of Education on Vermont’s pre-kindergarten program, the final version of which will be due in July. While there was not a lot of detail at this point, two interesting bits popped out as worth watching. One was that “research has found no or a limited relationship between educators’ level of education and child outcomes.” The other was that the best results were coming from the private childcare centers, not the public school based programs.

Public domain

Asked by a committee member about why private centers were doing a better job than their public school counterparts, the presenters squirmed mightily in their attempts to find an acceptable sugar-coating of political correctness to suit the lawmakers’ pallets. None dared state the obvious: that the private sector, directly accountable to the customer, is always more efficient and delivers better results than a bureaucracy that is ultimately accountable to the politicians who fund it, not the customer.

These two issues are also interesting in their interrelation. The presenters noted that the public school programs, more often than not, compensated their staff more in salary and benefits than the private providers were able to, and therefore there is a worry that the public school programs would attract the most qualified teachers. If the research bears out, this is apparently not an issue. And, if both points bear out, perhaps it is a benefit to the private providers.

Vermont has been expanding “high quality” (defined by teacher education levels) taxpayer-funded pre-K programs run through the public school system since 2007 because our politicians felt that better educated, better paid public school teachers would do a better job than their private sector peers. At least according to the initial research, it doesn’t appear to be the case. I am pleasantly not surprised.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Image courtesy of Public domain

13 thoughts on “Report: Private pre-K outperforming public in Vermont

  1. Great article Rob, this needs to be spread state wide.

    Socialist only care about power and money, they don’t care about the kids, nor the poor.

  2. In the 1970s what passes for “pre-K” these days was known as Day Care, utilized mainly by working parents.

    All of my own children were participants. We parents were the clients; we personally knew the operator, a young divorcee, assisted by another married woman of the same approximate age, each with a young child. There were NO “teachers”, NO “teaching”, other than what was required to encourage appropriate behavior.The kids engaged in healthy and more varied activities than you might see enjoyed by kindergartners these days, and learned from it. All went on in life to become successful and productive in life, minus the indoctrination you’d see in the current structure.

  3. The big public education monopoly cares more about union jobs and benefits than student outcomes. Vermonts political left is a great puppet for the teachers union, I guess they must like the campaign cash and promised votes. Vermont education officials are constantly creating regulations to try to eliminate independent schools. After all, union jobs are more important than Vt children, right?

  4. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.This applies to results of private vs. public schools more than anywhere else.
    Parents that send their kids to private schools are generally more well to do than the public school parents.This is because becoming well to do requires brain power.Naturally their children will inherit brain power similar to that of their parents.
    Meanwhile in more diverse school systems the results are even worse.No way it could have anything to do with the average I.Q. for central Americans and Africans being in the low 80’s range.

    • ALL Central Americans and ALL of African descent are not of the same genetic cut. And yes genetics does have a lot to do with IQ and intelligence, as studies have shown.

      Economic success has as much to do with awareness, motivation and desire as it does with ‘brain power’. If you do not know at least one person who is just making it, who has ‘brains’ not used, then you just haven’t been looking.

      Not buying the argument of “privilege”. You might better throw a stone or two at the ‘educational’ system that instills utter crap into young minds.

        • Statistics are used to lie on a constant basis, it’s epidemic. The truth is most people have such a poor understanding of them they don’t know what to ask and don’t know when they are being lied too.

          Pharmaceutical industry is rife with b.s., just like,our government. They’ll say this drug is 50% more effective than our previous drug. Previous drug helped 3 people,out of 100, the new one helps 6. Statistically “accurate” but an bogus drug by any counts.

          It’s the same when they passed around the report and study on how all these opiod related drugs weren’t addictive in their tests. Of which they left out the fact it was done under hospital supervision.

          Liars figure and figures lie……some truth in there

    • ” I.Q. for central Americans and Africans being in the low 80’s range.”

      probably more in the 60-80 range but the problem is dumbing down
      down the rest (80-+100) to not offend the less intelligent. The publics
      kill off the will to learn where the privates instill the will to learn.

  5. Lets see, two school systems, private and public.
    Private must be funded by families that can afford it. Public is supported by monies confiscated via taxes with no control whether they can afford it or not. Double jeopardy, families are paying for both systems and are not using one (public).

    Gov schools exist by demand, private exists by choice. The Gov school systems must be sweating it to see better results outside their monopoly. Vouchers should go to private systems and the tax money should support the voucher system and not go to the gov systems. Or deduct that amount from the tax bill. Financially starve the Gov school system out of business..

  6. Like they said in the article Private HAS to do a good job teaching with results to get more
    business. Public is force fed the empty minds to do as the Dept. of Ed and NEA unions
    decide to indoctrinate them with out regard for What they learn. They must only have to
    “score” right on the test they are trained on. Not the tools they need when they graduate.

    Communism doesn’t work any better in schools then it does in government no matter
    how hard our flatlander loonie leaders try to make it so.

  7. Guessing as to why education outcomes aren’t related to the educator’s associations or level of education is counter-productive. There is academic, peer-reviewed evidence for this circumstance and it’s consistently ignored by proponents of both public school and private school educators. In other words, it’s the act of choosing one’s education program that counts, not the specific nature (public or private) of the program itself.

    Increasing Student Success Through Instruction in Self-Determination:
    An enormous amount of research shows the importance of self-determination (i.e., autonomy) for students in elementary school through college for enhancing learning and improving important post-school outcomes.

    The research shows “… that students who are more involved in setting educational goals are more likely to reach their goals”, not only for so-called Regular Education students but for Disabled Students as well. It’s not the specific curriculum or pedagogy that determines an individual’s successful educational outcome but rather the act of choosing it in the first place, …whatever it is.

    “[T]he more students were externally regulated the less they showed interest, value, and effort toward achievement and the more they tended to disown responsibility for negative outcomes, blaming others such as the teacher.”

    Education’s secret sauce is allowing parents and their children to choose their destiny, sometimes failing in the process but always learning from the experience.

  8. I would guess that the private school teachers do not belong to any union and are probably paid for the quality of education that they provide. In other words, they are paid for performance. Just that alone provides a better education for the children. Many of the public school teachers are too complaisant as they have tenure and they all have aides to assist them.
    All teachers should be paid by their performance.

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