In early 2004, Governor Rod Blagojevich announced a plan to mail one book a month to every child in Illinois from the time they were born until they entered kindergarten. The plan would cost $26 million a year. But, Blagojevich argued, this was a vital intervention in a state where 40 percent of third graders read below their grade level. “When you own [books] and they’re yours,” he said, “and they just come as part of your life, all of that will contribute to a sense … that books should be part of your life."The book portrayed the plan as a mistake about cause and effect. (The real reason why children with books in their houses do well is that their parents are well-educated.) I note the book's assumption that the reason for the plan was to help kids.
December 11, 2008
It was in "Freakonomics":