The Instigator
Willoweed
Pro (for)
Losing
24 Points
The Contender
ConservativePolitico
Con (against)
Winning
26 Points

The federal government should provide funds/subsidies to ensure that all poor children attend pre-Sc

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 9 votes the winner is...
ConservativePolitico
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/30/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,137 times Debate No: 19583
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (9)

 

Willoweed

Pro

My opponent can either accept and let me make the first arguments or she/he can make the first arguments. however if he/she makes the first arguments he/she will not be allowed to argue int he last round.
ConservativePolitico

Con

I accept your challenge and cede the opening points to you since you are the one arguing for the topic.
Debate Round No. 1
Willoweed

Pro

The reasons that the government should provide funding so that every child (especially the poor) can attend pre-school and various education programs like it is because doing so would increase the educational attainment of these children, meaning they get better jobs and are more productive. A policy providing fund for pre-school essentially teaches boys to fish and allows the poor to pull themselves up by their out boot straps. It would also result in them being healthier due to education making people healthier. Also because these children would have better jobs they would need less social services and welfare. Overall pre-school creates more economic benefits then it costs to provide it.

1)There have been dozens of research studies analyzing the benefits of pre-school for poor children.
A)A study done in Chicago found that two years of pre-school for poor children resulted in $5 dollars in economic benefits for every dollar spent. The benefits included lower crime rates, increased productivity and income, and lower health costs due to lower use of illegal drugs. http://www.eschoolnews.com...?
B)A New York study found that pre-school created even more benefits 7 dollars for every dollar spent. It found that it made the kids chance of being on welfare 50% less, made them 23% more likely to be employed, and 50% less likely to be arrested. http://nieer.org...
C)A study on head start which is a government pre-school program found 9 dollars in economic benefits for every dollar spent. http://news.prnewswire.com...=
D)In North Carolina another pre-school program was analyzed it found 4 dollars in benefits for every dollar spent. While another study found pre-school created 6 dollars in benefits for every 1 spent. One study even found 12 dollars in benefits. There were 3 other studies that came to the same conclusion.
http://www.publicpolicyforum.org...
http://nieer.org...

The reasons that pre-school creates so many benefits is because education is a very important thing. Another reasons is that at pre-school kids have access to a nurturing environment and they also have access to healthy food choices. The nurturing environment is a big part, proven by a study that shows that young children who live in a bad environment in their early years of life are forever irreversibly damaged. http://www.tnr.com...

Conclusion: Government funded pre-school for poor children creates so many benefits that it pays for itself and then some several times over. Not only is this good for the economy but the programs would reduce crime, make people healthier and help poor people get out of poverty without the use of welfare. And that is why the government should fund pre-school.
ConservativePolitico

Con

First of all I want to point out that that the debate topic states that the government SHOULD do something making this a matter of opinion right from the get go. Since this debate is founded in opinion I feel the need to share mine by stating that the federal government should NOT fund any sort of education based on the fact that education has, until recently, been traditionally left to the state governments. The federal government has no business being in public education of any kind.

Now onto the rebuttal.

1)

A-D) First of all studies in which you gauge "economic benefits" based on schooling of any kind is a guessing game at best. There is no way to tell whether or not $5 were gained by schooling for every dollar spent. It's not feasible, there are too many variables and too many dollars going around to pin down this figure accurately. Universal preschool programs in Oklahoma, Georgia and Tennessee (2006, Education Week analysis) find no statistical difference in the performance of preschool and non-preschool students on any subject after the first grade so how can you say that the money was earned back if performance wasn't positively affected by the preschooling? It is too hard to make conclusions about someone's entire life based on the sole notion of preschool.

And the numbers just don't add up. In the past 40 years preschool attendance jumped from 16% to 70% but fourth-grade reading, science, and math scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) haven't gone up since the early 1970′s. (http://www.drlaurablog.com...) Hmmm. So if this dramatic increase in productivity is there it certainly hasn't shown up on the tests. Not only is preschool not producing the supposed numbers that liberals laud it has actually be suggested lately that preschool is HARMING our children, not helping them.

In fact there are many newly emerging studies saying that preschool has adverse affects on the children attending. A 2005 study from Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley (neither of which is known as a conservative institution) found that kindergartners with 15 or more hours of preschool every week were less motivated and more aggressive in class than other kids. This study was backed up by a Quebec based Canadian study that shows how kids with preschooling are more anxious, aggressive and lazy than kids without preschooling.(http://www.leg.state.vt.us...) The earlier children start preschool the more socially unstable they become.

***
Measure Quebec - [Rest of Canada]
(in percent)
Proportion of children in some type of care 51.4 - [16.3]
Proportion of mothers working outside the home 20.9 - [8.9]
Children's anxiety score (ages 2 to 4) a 34.0 - [11.8]
Children's aggression score (ages 2 to 4) b 24.2 - [1.4]
Hostile parenting score (ages 2 to 4) c 4.1 - [-4.0]
Consistent parenting score (ages 2 to 4) d 0.7 - [4.6]
Table 1 Before and After Quebec's Childcare Reform: Percentage Change in Selected
Indicators, Quebec and the Rest of Canada
Source:Calculations by the authors using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Children and Youth, as
in Baker, Gruber, and Milligan (2005). Each number in the table represents the percentage change in the
measure from the first wave (1994-95) to the fifth (2002-03). For example, the proportion of children in
care rose by 51.4 percent in Quebec, and by 16.3 percent in the rest of Canada.
***

Based on this study the percentage of hostile behavior in children is dramatically higher if they attend preschool than if they haven't.

As for the "nurturing environment" argument, how can taking a child away from their mother and putting them in a government run institution be more "nurturing" than being at home with their mother. If the mother isn't being a parent suitable for a nurturing environment Child Protective Services will get involved instead of preschool. We don't need our kids put into the arms of the government earlier, they need to be at home with the parents.

Conclusion: Trying to track the success of a life based on one or two years of preschool is improbable and marred with a whole multitude of variables that skew such data. Being in preschool causes children to have anxious and aggressive behavior in comparison to their non preschool counterparts. The federal government has no business spending tax dollars on a worthless program that turns kids into hostile beings especially when it has no business in public education to begin with. Being poor has nothing to do with early education because in the end everyone ends up in a K-12 school which will far outweigh one or two years in early start programs.

** Oh and in regard to your comment about preschool paying for itself, can you name ANY federal programs that pay for themselves consistently in the long run? **
Debate Round No. 2
Willoweed

Pro

My opponent first states that his opinion is that the federal government should not fund education because until recently state governments only funded education. If we followed this logic, back in the 1800's and early 1900's we would disagree with allowing blacks to have equal rights, because they did not have them currently. My opponent's logic for his opinion is that we should not do new things because we currently don't do them.

1)First all my studies aren't a "guessing game". The studies compare similar children who went to pre-school with children who didn't go. The studies account for economic, sex, and other factors. There is no guessing it's a comparison. It is feasible to determine the effect of pre-school on poor kids because the studies take into account other factors that affect those kids.

2)Second your studies in Oklahoma Georgia and Tennessee unlike my studies do not take into account economic and other factors. In fact your studies compare kids who go to private schools and who are rich with very poor kids. Therefore your studies aren't very reliable comparisons.

3)Third your source is incorrect. The fact is test scores have increased since 1970.
http://nces.ed.gov... Also your source is misleading and dishonest because it assumes that the increase in pre-school happened right at 1970. The fact is that test scores stalled in the 70's-80's and then began increasing in the 90's-2000's, and as my second source shows the increase in pre-school attendance occurred in the 90's and 00's and when those kids began entering 4th grade test scores began improving. http://nieer.org...

4)Countries that have higher test scores then America have pre-school attendance around 50% higher than America. http://www.oecd.org...

5)I will be referring to your source (http://www.publicpolicyforum.org...)
A)Your sources talks about benefits for rich children, given that the debate is on providing pre-school to poor children these discussion on rich children are irrelevant. A reason rich children do not benefit as much from pre-school is because they have parents who do not have to work all day meaning they get nurturing care, they also can afford proper nutrition, educational games and other things.
B)One section of your above source says that the pre-schools in California might not work because they are not modeled after beneficial schools in Chicago.

6)A) In the Quebec study they say that they leave out the poorest students; they don't do this because they are necessarily bias but because the data on those students was hard to find. So again this study is on rich students instead of poor students and since this debate is about poor students this study is a bit irrelevant. However I will go over the Quebec study anyways.
C)One benefit that the study found was that providing pre-school/day care in Quebec caused employment for women to increase by 21% more than the rest of the country. They found that just this increase in employment effects on tax revenue offset at least 40% of the cost of pre-school.
D)Here is a quote from the study, "One concern is that our findings reflect problems that families would face anyway when their children enter school; the universal childcare program simply hastened the day of reckoning."
This quote means that the reason for the increase in behavior problems early on isn't an actual increase in problems but instead a shifting of when those problems occur.

E)Here is another quote, "Another possibility is that our findings reflect a change in how parents answer the survey questions, rather than a change in actual behavior."
What this quote eludes to is that the reason parents reported more behavior problems for their kids who were in pre-school is that those parents were not around the kids all day so when a behavior problem occurred and the parents were contacted it highlighted the problem and made it seem worse.
F)Here is another quote, "Finally, we were unable to study the longer term impact of the program," My studies studied the long term effects and found massive benefits, your studies didn't study the long term effects.

7)Here is a list of 26 different studies on the effects of pre-school, all coming to the same conclusion as my first sources. That conclusion being that providing poor kids with pre-school results in less crime, higher education attainment, healthier lifestyles, better jobs, less dependence on social services and other benefits. http://www.publicpolicyforum.org...

8)Pre-school for poor students pays for itself and has massive benefits because it increases their educational attainment, resulting in lower crime, heather lifestyles and higher wages. Studies show that the lacking of a nurturing environment, and good nutrition early on in a kids life can have forever lasting negative mental impacts. Since poor kids are the most likely to not have a nurturing environment pre-school for them is exponentially more beneficial than other groups.
ConservativePolitico

Con

- In conclusion: [all of my above arguments stand]

Firstly I want to say that I don't believe the economic status of a child has any bearing on how successful they are later in life. My mother's family of 12 children were deep below the poverty line for their entire childhood and now 11 of the 12 children have attended college and 9 of the 12 make over 100k a year so comparing "poor children" to "rich children" does not matter because early economic status does not set a child's destiny in stone.

Also: following your logic that the government needs to help "poor" children and subsidize preschool for anyone who needs it, then the government should control every aspect of our lives. If you keep giving them power to get involved under the banner of "change" then soon we'll be completely controlled by the federal government. Contrary to what progressives believe we do not have to constantly keep changing to be a successful society. We can stay the same and still function as well or better than we currently are. We don't have to keep giving out programs or spending money to be successful. The country was perfectly fine without the introduction of preschool and it will continue to be fine if the federal government doesn't cough up millions of dollars to instate a universal system.

Also: what does being poor have anything to do with behavior? All children should act the same because children don't know if they are poor or not. Children do not have the capacity to fully understand the world around them so economic status for preschool age children should mean absolutely nothing. No one has ever met a child worried about their tax bracket or their welfare status. It just doesn't click. The environment does play a factor yes but in preschool the environment for rich and poor children is the same.

"One concern is that our findings reflect problems that families would face anyway when their children enter school; the universal childcare program simply hastened the day of reckoning." - Even if this quote is accurate and your commentary is true, why would we want to bring out behavior problems earlier than needed? We wouldn't. It's better to let kids be kids with out "hastening their day of reckoning".

Thinking point: I have never seen a government agency pay for itself, ever. Every time a politician talks about universal preschool or Head Start it is always followed by the talks of tax hikes. You can say it pays for itself all you want but there is no evidence, none at all, that shows a government surplus. If there was there would be no taxes. The federal government doesn't fix or help anything. Every one of their programs is broken, broke or inefficient. Government preschool would be no different.

Thinking point: based under your philosophy about poor children then they should be put in government preschool but that's not all, they should be taken from the moment of birth to a "nurturing" government run facility to live happily until a parent can provide. Following your philosophy all "poor" children should be taken away by the government and put into nurturing centers so they can receive a proper environment. But who are you to say poor kids deserve anything? And who are you to say that their environment isn't nurturing. I will say again Child Protective services exists for this purpose and we do not need subsidized schooling for "poor" children.

Thinking point: class warfare needs to stop. Why point out continuously that the poor are poor? Why treat them specially? Let everyone live their lives free of interference and let everyone make of themselves what they will. Not everyone is equal, everyone has certain talents, skills and attributes that sets them apart. Not everyone should make the same money or have the same nurturing environment.

In conclusion: subsidized preschool will not benefit kids. It will be an expensive waste of money used to further the federal governments control over individual people. Whether or not a child is poor has no bearing on preschools effectiveness, an effectiveness that has been called into question on more than one occasion. Results are clear about behavior problems in children attending preschool (rich or poor it doesn't matter).

***

I urge the readers to review my previous set of arguments for they still stand. I urge the reader to think hard and think critically about the issue being debated. Will this really help? Can one year of government schooling really make as big of an impact as my adversary claims? Or are their other factors involved like I believe?

Think critically. Use common sense.

Thank you for a great debate.

Fin
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
9 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Vote Placed by Ron-Paul 5 years ago
Ron-Paul
WilloweedConservativePoliticoTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Countering Teafood again.
Vote Placed by Teafood 5 years ago
Teafood
WilloweedConservativePoliticoTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro pretty much destroyed Cons source in the 2nd round. After that we were left with pros sources that showed pre-school has massive economic benfits
Vote Placed by Contra 5 years ago
Contra
WilloweedConservativePoliticoTied
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: Con had more convincing arguments in some areas, but Pro had better sources.
Vote Placed by Chthonian 5 years ago
Chthonian
WilloweedConservativePoliticoTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro used more reliable sources. Con used an email with a reference that doesn’t exist and a blog post, and didn’t even provide any source for the 2005 study cited. Source points go to Pro. Pro provides a wealth of data from multiple studies and refutes Con’s Quebec study by pointing out that the researchers only included middle and high income families, which is not the socio-economic class that Pro is suggesting should be subsidized. Con’s argument relies too heavily on supposition: Pro win
Vote Placed by logicrules 5 years ago
logicrules
WilloweedConservativePoliticoTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: I am reminded that the scientific method needs to be taught, correlation is not causation. Studies show that 99 of all convicted felons were given milk as children ergo milk causes crime.
Vote Placed by Lordknukle 5 years ago
Lordknukle
WilloweedConservativePoliticoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: CON did better overall
Vote Placed by darkkermit 5 years ago
darkkermit
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Reasons for voting decision: PRO disproved CONs sotudies and demonstrated that preschool has positive benefits on poorer populations.
Vote Placed by imabench 5 years ago
imabench
WilloweedConservativePoliticoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter vote bomb... Personally though I agree with the Pro's arguments
Vote Placed by youngpolitic 5 years ago
youngpolitic
WilloweedConservativePoliticoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I agree politically with con and think that he made a well thought out and passionate argument. You could tell what he believes and made it very convincing using logic and common sense arguments to appeal to the reader.