"Punk'd" in Arizona

Posted on July 12, 2005
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MTV's "Punk'd" is a hidden camera show that tries to trick celebrities into embarrassing themselves. Host Ashton Kutcher usually succeeds.

In Arizona, "Punk'd" is the buzzword in an ad campaign funded by a group calling itself Early Childhood Arizona. The campaign promotes state funding of "early childhood development programs," such as all-day kindergarten, claiming these programs will fix everything from high dropout rates to low test scores, and guarantee the success of the bioscience industry in Arizona.

It is spurious to link all-day kindergarten to far-flung benchmarks like economic growth, let alone the biosciences specifically. In a study of 22,000 kindergartners, the National Center for Education Statistics recently found no lasting reading, math, or science achievement differences between children who attend half-day and full-day kindergarten. Considering such findings, it's anyone's guess as to how kindergarten will help the bioscience industry.

Accepting the claims of Early Childhood Arizona will leave Arizona's children, like Kutcher's celebrity marks, punk'd.

Key Links:
-Early Childhood Arizona
-National Center for Education Statistics
-Goldwater Institute study: Assessing Proposals for Preschool and Kindergarten

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