Last week, Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney vetoed a bill that would have provided universal preschool to Bay State toddlers.  IWF’s Carrie Lukas explains why universal preschool is bad news bears over at National Review Online this morning:

It’s easy to see why many politicians view universal preschool as a political winner. Voters picture smiling four-year-olds clasping lunchboxes, heading off to bright colored classrooms to begin a life-time of learning. Presumably, the extra year of school will give these children a leg up, and clever budget-crunchers promise that early-learning investments will pay future dividends of higher tax payments and reduced spending on social programs. An added bonus: Over-stressed working moms have one less year to worry about finding daycare.

But universal preschool doesn’t live up to its promise, either as a matter of policy or of politics. While proponents boast of preschool as having a dramatic affect on student outcomes, there is scant evidence to support this claim. Darcy Olsen, president of the Goldwater Institute, reviewed the major studies on preschool’s effects and found no evidence that preschool helps mainstream (neither low-income or learning-disabled) children learn more. Moreover, some studies have shown that preschool — even as little as three hours a day or fifteen hours per week — can actually impede these children’s social development.

Read more here.