I read with interest this newspaper's editorial stating the concept of universal pre-kindergarten is fine for progressive constituencies like New York City, but shouldn't be imposed on the rest of us since we have other priorities.
Studies have consistently proven that students who have had the benefit of pre-K:
A.) Are far more likely to succeed in school and graduate from high school.
B.) Are far more likely to go to college and/or complete specialized vocational training.
C.) Have a substantially higher income as adults.
D.) Are much less likely to commit crimes or become dependent on such things as alcohol or drugs.
Surely, anyone even casually aware of these facts would realize that pre-K universally applied now would within 15 years dramatically improve public education while reducing the heavy financial burdens now imposed on taxpayers by the need for so many remedial programs. And in 25 years we could begin seeing significant increases in the percentage of our population leading productive, healthy lives, paying taxes, contributing to their communities and bringing up well-adjusted children. In short, this could be the thing that eventually solves so many of the problems we now face, and improves the entire society for everyone. What could be more important?
If there is one thing that I have come to realize from my 19 years on the City Court bench, including nearly a year and a half on the family court bench, it is that nurturing and educating the next generation of citizens is the most important thing we do as a society. The quality of our civilization depends on it. Nothing - nothing! - is more critical for the country's future.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Pre-K has been around for long enough to give us solid proof that it is incredibly effective. When you come across something that works well, it makes sense to apply it more widely.
The suggestion in this paper's ill-informed editorial that the idea of universal pre-K is nothing more than a political ploy was cynical and shortsighted at best.