Bruce Fuller Knows Better

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

In the New York Times campaign blog, Cal-Berkley education professor Bruce Fuller makes some wildly inaccurate assertions.

Fuller asserts:

Yet only three publicly financed voucher programs — Cleveland, Milwaukee and Washington — have survived since the early 1990s.

Fuller needs to check his facts. There are three voucher programs in Ohio alone. Two more in Arizona. Oh, and then there are voucher programs in Utah, Georgia and Louisiana. Oh, and Maine and Vermont. Also Florida. And of course this ignores the nation’s tax credit programs.

Worse still, Fuller writes:

On early education, Republican leaders have been silent, even though quality preschools pack a strong punch in boosting young children’s learning.

This is an artfully written sentence indeed. The phrase “boosting young children’s learning” deftly avoids the question as to whether these gains are ultimately sustained. Fuller himself however wrote the following in opposing Hillary Clinton’s preschool plan:

Three recent studies, conducted with national data on more than 22,000 young children, have shown significant benefits from preschool for poor students, especially those who find their way into higher quality elementary schools. But cognitive gains from preschool quickly fade out for middle-class children; social development slows for those spending long days in centers.

I am reading Fuller’s book Standardized Childhood and must say I’m finding him more credible as a scholar than as a proponent of the Obama campaign.


One Response to Bruce Fuller Knows Better

  1. Greg Forster says:

    Fuller also seems to have missed the fact that neither the Cleveland nor the DC voucher program existed yet in “the early 1990s.”

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