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Another Study Confirms: Head Start Doesn’t Work

Written by Right Side News

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The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) just released its latest batch of Head Start data, revealing, once again, that its students are receiving far less than a “head start.”  head-start

The study, which was finally released the weekend before Christmas after more than a year’s delay, examines the third-grade outcomes of two groups of Head Start students: those who began the program at age three and another who began at age four. 

In 2010, HHS released a similar report looking at first-grade outcomes. Both studies show similar results: Not only does Head Start have no impact on children’s academic outcomes, but it also has little to no impact on other measures of child well-being and, in some cases, even has some negative impacts.

In a newly released paper, Heritage’s Lindsey Burke and David Muhlhausen discuss the findings, summarized as follows:

After five decades, Head Start continues to default on its aim to boost school readiness. In addition to the program’s overall ineffectiveness, there are government reports of fraud in the program.

Yet Head Start continues to receive billions of taxpayer dollars every year. Since Head Start began, more than $180 billion taxpayer dollars have been spent to fund it—and Congress is currently contemplating allocating millions of extra dollars to the program through the supplemental aid package for Hurricane Sandy victims.

“In the interest of children and taxpayers, it’s time for this nearly half-century experiment to come to an end,” write Burke and Muhlhausen. But if it must continue, they note, reform is necessary.

If the federal government continues to fund Head Start, policymakers should allow states to make their Head Start dollars portable, following children to a private preschool provider of choice.”

Source: The Heritage Foundation

Rachel Sheffield focuses on policy issues related to welfare, marriage and family, and education as research assistant in the DeVos Center for Religion & Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation.

Rachel Sheffield focuses on policy issues related to welfare, marriage and family, and education as research assistant in the DeVos Center for Religion & Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation.

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