Originally Posted by Mom2M
I read through this article and did not come to the same conclusion that you have.
Yes, the cognitive gains are common according to some articles/studies and from what I have read they usually disappear by first grade. I did read one study though in which they were retained for more years. Perhaps that is not so a much an issue of preschooling but something lacking in public schooling. Tucker-Drob is a Prof. from University Texas and has done a lot of work studying preschool and cognitive gains. In a nutshell, the disadvantaged children are the ones with cognitive gains according to Tucker Drob, not the others.
Tucker Drob http://www.futurity.org/society-culture/preschool-bridges-gaps-in-test-scores-later/
That's not at all discounting it, but to generalize it all of those who attend preschool is misleading and that is a common theme I have noticed in some articles, this fact is commonly distorted.
The cognitive gains though tend to come at a cost, and this seems to be a common conclusion in studies, at the expense of decline in emotional health and intelliegence (EQ). Although these losses only pertain to children who attended preschool at less than five years of age (per Margot Sunderland).
Quotes from first link listed below:
Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey (ECLS), researchers concluded that preschool has a positive impact on reading and mathematics scores in the short term and a negative effect on behavior. While the positive academic impacts mostly fade away by the spring of the 1st grade, the negative effects persist into the later grades. (Katherine A. Magnuson, Christopher J. Ruhm, Jane Waldfogel, "Does Prekindergarten Improve School Preparation and Performance?" National Bureau of Economic Research, April 2004).............
A 2007 study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development tracked 1,364 children who had participated in early childhood education. Preschool participants were more likely to score higher on factors of aggression and disobedience as reported by their teachers.
I feel strongly that those considering preschool should thoroughly research the benefits/risks, gains/losses, particularly the long term behavioral effects. I find the general assumption that preschool is beneficial to the masses (not by you, just generally stating) is not accurate, and that a particular group of at-risk children are more likely to see gains than losses (search the Perry Study). Another concern to me is the earlier and earlier institutionalization of young children. Preschool is intended for four year olds and older but now three year olds, and even two year olds are being enrolled. It just seems that preschool has become so common, no longer limited to those who are at risk, the decision to enroll in preschool is no longer questioned.
More interesting reading:
The following link (due to author) may be an interest to OP:
By the end of the primary grades, there was little difference in the academic performance of children who had experienced three different preschool models. http://ecrp.uiuc.edu/v4n1/marcon.html
There are of course so many important choices to make as a parent, and it seems this may be one of them that needs quite a bit of research before deciding. That's my opinion though, others may not agree.