"Preschool for All Act", Rob Reiner, and the government targeting 4-year-olds

In June 2006, California will vote on Rob Reiner's scheme to establish voluntary preschool. Previously we offered "First 5 California": Yet another illegal immigration magnet, and here are a few more interesting links:

Why Californians Should Vote NO On "Preschool-For-All" in June 2006. That's from a homeschooling group, but they have 15 reasons worthy of your consideration.

"Will Universal Preschool Give All Kids a Head Start?"
...Critics wonder why billions should be tossed at expanding a school system that is so grossly failing the children currently in its care. Both sides agree: universal preschool involves increasing government's "parental" role regarding children. It involves a new bureaucracy that focuses on 4-year-olds...

Reiner's campaign may also serve as a model on how to turn universal preschool advocacy into governmental reality. In 1997, Reiner founded the I Am Your Child Foundation (now Parents Action for Children) to fight "for issues such as early education." In 1998, Reiner campaigned successfully for Proposition 10, a ballot initiative to tax tobacco products in order to fund preschool programs.

That same year, a California Department of Education report called for a half-day of preschool for every 3 or 4-year-old by 2008. Two bills before the 1998 state legislature unsuccessfully attempted to establish the system. By 2004, Reiner and the California Teachers Association had qualified a universal preschool initiative for the ballot but ultimately withdrew it in a joint statement.

In short, California has a long history of activists working in concert with various bureaucracies in order to expand both the reach and the funding of the CDE.

As usual, statistics and studies have been flashed in support...
Read the rest of the article, because those statistics - which you might have heard on the radio or on TV - seem to be based on rather questionable studies. Speaking of which, the Mercury News pimps the scheme in "Study supports measure's claims". Only in the seventh out of ninth paragraph do we get the other side:
Critics, including researchers at Princeton University and the Brookings Institution, have raised concerns about the Chicago Child-Parent Centers study, in part because of its small sample size. Others, including Lance Izumi of the Pacific Research Institute, question whether a targeted, relatively small Chicago study can be adequately extrapolated for a state as large, and as diverse, as California.
But, wait, it gets worse. Jill Tucker from the Daily Review offers "Study shows free preschool changes kids' lives forever/Experts say universal program is big investment with big returns". It contains no negative information whatsoever. Now, given the headline and the content, what do we normally call things like that?


Could you amplify for me the "That's from a homeschooling group, but..." of this link. Someone not familiar with the concept of educating one's children at home might interpret it as a disqualifying qualifier. Thank you.

[That note's there for two main reasons: 1. pointing out that they have their own agenda. 2. the homeschooling concept has been somewhat marginalized by the media and I don't know enough about it to say if that's in any way accurate or not. -- LW]