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ERIC Number: EJ763234
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1539-9664
Competing Visions
Haskins, Ron
Education Next, v4 n1 p26-33 Win 2004
Project Head Start was created during the heady, idealistic days of the mid-1960s. The idea for Head Start, a preschool program for disadvantaged children, emerged from the observation that, on average, poor and minority children arrive at school already behind their peers in the intellectual skills and abilities required for academic achievement. Nearly 40 years after its creation, Head Start has gained the favor of Democrats and Republicans alike. However, despite Head Start's long history and ever-expanding budget, the achievement gap between advantaged and disadvantaged, between white and minority, is still substantial, both during the preschool years and thereafter. Now the Bush administration has proposed reorienting the program to emphasize the acquisition of intellectual skills and to prepare poor kids for school. The plan is to turn control of Head Start over to the states, as long as they commit to making school readiness the program's chief priority and to meet several other requirements. Congressional Democrats and Head Start teachers, staff, and parents have viscerally opposed the administration's proposals, fearing the dilution of Head Start's program of comprehensive services in favor of the focus on school readiness. The authors maintain that the best course of action would be that contained in the administration's compromise with House Republicans: to pilot state control of Heat Start in a few states, determining future policy based on their performance. (Contains 3 figures.)
Hoover Institution. Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Tel: 800-935-2882; Fax: 650-723-8626; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Washington
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Brown v Board of Education; Civil Rights Act 1964