Friday's Republic had a front page story on All Day Kindergarten that's a great example of a Conventional Wisdom piece. The fundamental underlying premise is wrong, but the story fits so well into what everyone "knows" is right that no one questions it.
The narrative with All Day Kindergarten is that it's a good program that Governor Napolitano forced Republicans to accept and now that she's gone and the state is broke, the legislature is getting rid of it. Some will argue that it's a matter of priorities, some will argue that Republicans are just hard hearted and don't like the program because it's an expansion of government. However, everyone knows that it's a good program.
Here's an interesting sentence that fits so well into the narrative that the reporter doesn't even bother citing a source.
Research shows children participating in full-day kindergarten are better prepared to learn to read and write, in particular students from low-income families and those who are still learning English.
Really? Actually, all day kindergarten has been studied extensively and has been shown to have no positive effects and shows signs of having negative effects. That's right. All day Kindergarten is at best useless and is probably actually bad for kids. But at least it's expensive.
Here's a RAND Report that analyzes the most comprehensive study to date. Here's the key sentence from the findings.
Our analyses reinforce the findings of earlier studies that suggest that full-day kindergarten programs may not enhance achievement in the long term. Furthermore, our study raises the possibility that full-day kindergarten programs may actually be detrimental to mathematics performance and nonacademic readiness skills.
I know it's hard to read something that conflicts with your world view. So take a deep breath and remember a couple more important facts...
The air and water are clean
Arizona Schools are excellent
The rich pay nearly all the taxes and nearly half the population pays no income taxes.
Health care is excellent and pretty much universal
Poverty in the united states has been largely eliminated.
DDT Saves lives and is otherwise harmless
Exercise doesn’t help you lose weight
The Earth isn't getting warmer
And while we are at it, don't forget that Arizona's employer sanctions law was the brainchld of the Democratic Caucus and Napolitano and the Democrats forced Republicans to adopt it.