January 14 2010
Head Start? Or Total Failure?
The Department of Health and Human Services finally released the second installment of results from a series of studies it completed on the effects of Head Start on academic performance.
As Andrew Coulson over at the Cato Institute wrote yesterday: “virtually all academic effects disappear by the end of 1st grade.”
Wow. That’s not good considering we’ve spent more than $100 billion on the program. HHS’s own study suggests the program’s only impact is fading by the time students reach the first grade?!
As Adam Schaeffer, also at Cato (disclosure: my husband) added yesterday, the failure of Head Start should give us pause before launching any new “government-run early childhood initiatives.” Of course this is a topic, my colleague Carrie Lukas has written about here at IWF, as well.
Perhaps what’s most disheartening about these findings is the fact that they come as Congress is dismantling the existing DC Opportunity Scholarship program, which gives families with children in failing schools greater freedom and choice to really get a head start in life.