Despite costing taxpayers $180 billion since it’s inception, the federal early childhood education program Head Start is a big flop. What a surprise.
There’s just one problem: It doesn’t work.
Until recently, no one even conducted a scientific test of Head Start’s effectiveness. Republicans demanded one in 1998, and the Department of Health and Human Services commissioned it four years later. The ongoing randomized study of Head Start was based on a nationally representative sample of 5,000 children who applied for the program in 2002. Approximately half of the subjects received Head Start services, while the other half did not. The students were then tested on their language, literacy, math and school performance skills.
The initial results were supposed to be published by the HHS in March 2009. But the Obama administration delayed this until January 2010, at which point the reason became obvious. As the 2010 Head Start Impact Study report notes, “the benefits of access to Head Start at age four are largely absent by 1st grade for the program population as a whole.” Specifically, the language, literacy, math and school performance skills of the Head Start children all failed to improve. (Read More)
A follow up study didn’t produce better results. But don’t expect this program to come to an end. Liberals love it, it makes them feel good, at our expense. Seeing the way things are going these days they’ll probably expand it, they want nothing more than getting to our children when they’re really young. Even the massive pork-laden Sandy relief bill that passed in the House had money included for this failed program.