ERIC Number: ED480614
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Mar-6
Reference Count: N/A
Head Start: Working Towards Improved Results for Children. Hearing before the Subcommittee on Education Reform of the Committee on Education and the Workforce. House of Representatives, One Hundred Eighth Congress, First Session.
Congress of the U.S., Washington, DC. House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
These hearings transcripts present testimony on the impact of the Head Start program for preparing disadvantaged children for school, to inform the reauthorization of Head Start. Opening statements by U.S. Representatives Michael Castle (Delaware) and Lynn Wolsey (California) focused on needs for improving Head Start. A written statement by Representative Ciro Rodriguez (Texas) argues that the proposed block funding of Head Start will not meet poor children's needs and will not work for Migrant and Seasonal Head Start. Testimony was offered by two panels of witnesses, the first comprised of Assistant Secretary for Children and Family Services Wade Horn and Governor John Rowland of Connecticut, with the director of the Institute for Educational Sciences available for questions; and the second comprised of the author of a preschool language enrichment program, the chair of the National Head Start Association (NHSA), and the director of a not-for-profit child care development agency. Horn's testimony maintained that the President's proposal for offering states the opportunity to coordinate preschool programs with Head Start in exchange for meeting certain accountability requirements is not a block grant and assured the committee that states would be required to maintain the comprehensive nature of Head Start services, maintain their current level of state preschool funding, and explain how state and federal funds would be coordinated to promote school readiness. Governor Rowland outlined potential benefits of the President's plan. Questions for the first panel related to assessment of school readiness, states' commitment to preschool education, the role of and support for parent involvement, states' roles in setting program standards, and consequences of not submitting a plan. Testimony from the second panel focused on the impact of a language-rich curriculum on poor children, Head Start's successes, and recommendations for its future. The NHSA chair argued that goals for enhancing literacy/language program components and improving coordination could be met within the current program structure and questioned the wisdom of moving Head Start to the states in the middle of a major review of Head Start effectiveness. Questions focused on replicability of the language enrichment program, concerns that the Administration is trying to dismantle Head Start, current Head Start collaboration efforts, and states' commitment and ability to offer quality comprehensive programs within the climate of state economic shortfalls. The transcripts' ten appendices contain written statements and additional documents submitted for the record. (KB)
Descriptors: Compensatory Education, Early Childhood Education, Economically Disadvantaged, Educational Change, Educational Improvement, Educational Policy, Hearings, High Risk Students, Outcomes of Education, Parent Participation, Preschool Children, Preschool Curriculum, Preschool Education, School Readiness, State Programs, State Standards
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Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Congress of the U.S., Washington, DC. House Committee on Education and the Workforce.