ERIC Number: ED477430
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Stregthening Head Start: What the Evidence Shows.
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (DHHS), Washington, DC.
Based on the view that the single most important goal of Head Start reauthorization legislation should be to improve Head Start and other preschool programs to better ensure that participating children are prepared to succeed in school, this paper describes the limited educational progress for children in Head Start and problems resulting from a fragmented approach to early childhood services. In particular, the paper presents evidence that most children enter and leave Head Start with below-average skill and knowledge levels and that disadvantaged children lag behind their more affluent peers throughout the school years. The paper argues that the current fragmented service delivery system hinders Head Start improvements. Barriers to coordination at the state level are identified, and evidence is presented from early childhood research and state efforts that have successfully addressed these problems. Finally, the paper explains President Bush's proposal for Head Start reauthorization, which builds on the evidence to strengthen the program and, through coordination, improve preschool programs in general to help ensure that children are prepared to succeed in school. Aspects of President Bush's plan involve allowing states willing to meet specific requirements to include Head Start in their overall preschool plans, strengthening educational standards and outcomes for federally managed programs, targeting more effectively quality improvement and training and technical assistance funds, and improving collaboration between Head Start programs and other early childhood programs, with governors and state school officers playing a more central role. Appended is a table providing an overview of major federal and state spending for preschool and child care programs in fiscal years 2003 and 2004. (Contains 70 endnotes and 72 references.) (KB)
Descriptors: Delivery Systems, Economically Disadvantaged, Educational Quality, Educationally Disadvantaged, Federal Legislation, Low Income Groups, Outcomes of Education, Preschool Children, Preschool Education, Program Effectiveness, Program Improvement, School Readiness
For full text: http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/StrengthenHeadStart03/index.htm.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (DHHS), Washington, DC.