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December 2, 2013

New Study: Not Such a Large Head Start

Study proves that Head Start and other similar efforts were a colossal waste of money.

For decades the federal government has claimed that our youngest children, particularly those brought up poor, would be best served by getting an early jump on the formal educational process. This notion led to the Head Start program, which serves children in the year or two before the normal commencement of kindergarten.

Yet for years, studies have proved that the Head Start program and other similar efforts are a colossal waste of money because the early advantage given to these children is erased in the first few years of standard K-12 schooling. This argument has been borne out in another large, 3,000-child study, based on successful and unsuccessful applicants from 2009 to Tennessee’s Voluntary Pre-K program. Now that the children have been tracked and the study’s results evaluated for performance through first grade, the authors found that, in most areas, the children who did not attend the Pre-K program were academically ahead of those who attended.

The study’s authors “found that the effects of [the program] … observed at the end of the pre-k year had greatly diminished by the end of the kindergarten year and the differences between participants and nonparticipants were no longer statistically significant." Why is this important?

Consider that the Obama administration wants to make "high-quality preschool available to every single child in America,” and imagine the cost. You can also imagine the need for thousands of additional (unionized, of course) “educators” as well as the millions of children immersed in government-sponsored indoctrination at a very precocious age.

With this administration we’ve learned results don’t matter, but employing power and control does.

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