Let's play the "what if" game for a second:
What if there was a program for kids in poverty that guaranteed at least a $7 return on investment for every $1 spent? What if that same program also improved graduation rates and significantly reduced crime rates?
Sound to go to be true? It’s not.
Those are just some of the long-term benefits associated with a study from the 1960s called the HighScope Perry Preschool Program.
About 120 African American children from Ypsilanti were enrolled in the project, all of whom lived in poverty. Half the children were enrolled in half-day preschool at Perry, the other half were not.
The two groups have been studied for more than 40 years and the children who attended Perry Preschool have pretty much outperformed the control group in every measurable category – from test scores and high school graduation rates all the way through to adulthood.
So what, exactly, does it take to produce those kinds of results?