Is Head Start Helping Children Succeed and Does Anyone Care?

Rachel Sheffield /

If you’ve heard the results of the recent Head Start Impact Study, congratulations. You are one of the few Americans who, no thanks to national media sources, are aware that your taxpayer dollars have been funding a failing federal program for the last 45 years. The Heritage Foundation recently hosted an event titled: Is Head Start Helping Children Succeed and Does Anyone Care?, to discuss the recently-released Impact Study that found no lasting impact for Head Start children after first grade.

According to the study–which compared both three- and four-year-old Head Start students with a control group of their peers–preschoolers who participated in Head Start did not fare any better than children who did not participate. Of over 100 potential benefits measured–including cognitive, social, and health outcomes–Head Start children made gains on only about 2 percent of them. Ironically, the only significant academic outcome was negative: kids who started Head Start at age three–meaning they had spent the most time in the program–were reported to do worse in kindergarten math than control group children. (more…)