Thanks for the welcomes and comments. I'm a big believer in the idea that the best decisions -- whether it is how to campaign, how to govern, how a NGO can tackle a vexing societal problem, or how to run a business -- are arrived at publicly and with wide input. I've got a day job that keeps me busy (and a number of campaign commitments) but I will try to check in and respond, and look forward to a future live blogging session.
Thanks again for the submissions and here are some initial thoughts:
* lcloud is so right about how critical high-quality care and learning environments are for young children. All of the studies on pre-kindergarten programs I’ve seen agree that quality programs are cost-effective, especially when you take into account middle- and long-term savings. And I don't mean just in terms of effectiveness in improving educational outcomes. In cold, hard dollar terms, the benefits outweigh the costs. One study of the Abecedarian Program in North Carolina found a return of between $2 and $3.66 dollars for every public dollar spent. Other studies have found returns of $10 or more per dollar spent, but even the most conservative estimates suggest a 2-to-1 payoff.