Everyone–well, almost everyone–seems to think that pre-K is a great idea that will help children develop vocabulary and learn the social skills to prepare for kindergarten.

But, wait! Who knew that Race to the Top, round 2, included funding for pre-K testing?

Jason Stanford, intrepid Texas journalist, noticed that Sandy Kress registered to lobby for Rupert Murdoch’s Amplify, the big for-profit run by Joel Klein (and joined recently by ex-New Jersey Commissioner Chris Cerf).

Kress was the architect of No Child Left Behind and lobbies in Texas for Pearson. He persuaded the Texas legislature to commit nearly $500 million to Pearson for a five-year contract (a five-year contract in New York with Pearson cost “only” $32 million; Texas must get all the best questions and answers).

But the new big-bucks frontier is pre-K assessment.

Stanford writes:

“Making a 4-year-old take a high-stakes test at an age when it’s hard to make them take a nap sounds like heaping child abuse on top of a failed educational theory. But at least we can all rest assured that Kress has figured out a way to get his cut of the early-education bonanza. It’s time we saw schools as a place to create opportunities for children, not profiteers.”