Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): K Yo wins an award. I am so not swooning

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

K Yo wins an award. I am so not swooning

Le sigh.

K. Yo has won an award for a cause that causes the bile to rise.

Here's how you know it's a nonsense award: It's called the PROMISE Award, aka, the 2015 Head Start Protecting Opportunities for our Most Important Students Early Award.

The bureaucrat who came up with the title probably spent at least $1,000 in federal staff time just naming it. 

This probably isn't a secret, but in case it is: I am no friend to Head Start. The program is a federal pre-school program designed to begin the public indoctrination process a little earlier. 

Taxpayers have dumped more than $180 billion into Head Start programs since its inception in 1965. And what do we have to show for it? (I mean, other than a KYo award?)

Answer: Not a whole lot. A report (using data collected in 2008 but released in 2012 *red flag!* *red flag!*) revealed that despite billions in expenditures, Head Start had little to no impact on the cognitive, emotional, health or parenting practicing of participants.

Not only did the report show virtually no improvement in educational outcomes, but by some measures, access to Head Start was harmful to children!! I am not making this up.

Kindergarten teachers of those students who started Head Start at the age of three were less prepared in math skills than the children who skipped Head Start.

 The obvious response to this failed program is clearly, clearly more spending. 

In a press release, Yoder essentially said he works hard to ensure the continued funding of such a critical program.

"I've seen firsthand at schools in my district that Head Start is a vital program that invests in our children's future by providing them an avenue to a good education that may not be there otherwise," Yoder said. "As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I've worked hard to show my colleagues the value of early childhood education, so that it remains a top priority."

First, I would like to note that there's a significant difference between "early childhood education" and Head Start. The two aren't mutually exclusive.

Second, I note the Head Start data and report here. (Scroll to the bottom and click the .pdf link at the bottom, if you'd like to bang your head against a wall by reading it.) 

The report and data suggest something other than what K. Yo reports. You're welcome to buy his story. I mean, he has visited Head Start programs throughout the Third District, "reading to students and visiting with parents and administrators." So maybe Yoder knows better than the federal data repository.

According to Yoder, Kansas has 8,130 Head Start enrollees supported by more than $56 million in annual funding, or $6,880 per student.

At some point, we need to start basing funding decisions on educational outcomes instead of pie-in-the-sky "hope." 

I'd rather have an extra $180 billion in the till, or better yet, back in taxpayers' pockets than a program designed to encourage better educational outcomes that doesn't produce. 


  1. Maybe you should spend a month volunteering in an early childhood classroom. Also, how did you miss indoctrination lessons during your stint in the public education system? Your conservatism tells me that you're just another failure of public schools.

  2. What makes you think I attended a public school?