New York Times Article: “Lifelines for Poor Children” by James J. Heckman

In this dynamic article, Heckman reinforces the value of a high quality early education programs and spouts data from both the Perry Preschool Project and the Carolina Abecedarian Project to enhance his arguments of the validity and efficacy of investing in effective early childhood development as a means of economic and social equalizers. Put simply, it pays to invest in effective early childhood programs.

Heckman poses that the hindrance in acting on these initiatives stems from “unfounded doubt” and “fear of doing things differently.” Heckman challenges the American public policy and states that “it is much more effective and cost efficient to create instead of remediate.”

In conclusion, Heckman acknowledges the current shift in American policy with the announcement of President Obama’s early childhood initiative and urges policy makers to “remain true to the evidence of what works—not to the politics of what is convenient.”  

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