Our friends at Education Liberty Watch did a great job highlighting how the new Early Learning Race to the Top program nationalizes preschool in the same way as the original Race to the Top did to K – 12. Here is a sample but the whole post is worth reading. The federal Department of Education is incentivizing data collection and testing for small children, invasive home visits documented to be ineffective, and federal control of early childhood standards and assessments:
- October 19th was the day that states applying for the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) grant must have turned in their applications. After banking, health care, the auto industry, K-12 education, and so many other areas of life, the new early childhood Race to the Top initiative is now doing to preschool what has been done in all these other sectors. The Obama administration is bribing desperately cash starved states with one time federal dollars have been coerced from those same states in order to impose the latest version of control from Washington DC.
- As did the K-12 version, which we described as Federal Control of Education on Steroids, the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge continues where the 2007 reauthorization of Head Start (See A Federal Curriculum for Preschoolers) left off. The RTTT-ELC: 1) Puts Uncle Sam in charge of preschool standards, assessments, and data collection from birth onward; 2) Expands invasive and ineffective home visiting programs; and 3) In addition to the federal takeover of state early childhood programs accomplished in 2007 with the Head Start reauthorization, becomes a de facto government takeover of private childcare via the so-called quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS). In reverse order here is a brief description of the issues: