Media falsely claims NM pre-K is improving early childhood education

The Santa Fe New Mexican recently ran a story touting yet another study which supposedly promotes the benefits of pre-K and early childhood spending. The report is the National Institute for Early Education Research’s State of Preschool 2022 Yearbook. The report claims that New Mexico’s early childhood programs are “a rare bright spot in New Mexico’s education system.”

Does the report tout the success of kids who have gone through New Mexico’s pre-K programs starting in 2005-2006 school year with the enactment of the PreK Act? No, in fact the study doesn’t even consider student outcomes. Everything is based on access, spending, academic credentials, and class sizes. 

Sadly, for nearly two decades New Mexico has had some kind of taxpayer-financed pre-K yet we have no evidence of outcomes one way or the other. We DO know that 2022 NAEP scores were (if anything) a big step backward due to our dead-last overall ranking but this report provides zero evidence that New Mexico’s new universal pre-K system is going to improve our State’s lousy education outcomes.