ERIC Number: ED106404
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1973-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Evaluating Project Head Start. Discussion Papers No. 189-73.
Barnow, Burt S.
Head Start is a federally funded preschool program for disadvantaged children. In this paper the problems of evaluating Head Start from an economic viewpoint are considered and a reanalysis of the data collected for the 1969 Westinghouse Learning Corporation--Ohio University study is carried out. An evaluation of Head Start is difficult because of conceptual and statistical problems. The conceptual problems deal with the difficulty in translating the benefits of Head Start into dollar terms so that it can be determined if the benefits exceed the costs and if Head Start is the most efficient social action program. Statistical problems arise because it is rarely possible to measure all of the independent variables in the model and some of the independent variables may be measured with error; these specification errors can lead to biased estimates of program effects. Regression analysis is used in the re-analysis of the Westinghouse data. The findings of the reanalysis are comparable with those of Westinghouse study but differ because of the changes in the structure of the model. The re-analysis suggests that Head Start produces statistically significant cognitive benefits for white children from mother-headed families and minority children; there is no evidence from the data to suggest that these benefits are permanent. (Author/JM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.; Office of Economic Opportunity, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Inst. for Research on Poverty.