The Superstorm Sandy relief bill planned for a vote Tuesday allocates $100 million for the Head Start program, which not only has nothing to do with the storm, but is also a program that doesn’t work, according to a Wall Street Journal editorial
Head Start, which prepares low-income toddlers for kindergarten, has received low marks throughout its history, which dates back to 1965. It spends $8 billion a year.
The first major evaluation of the program came in 1969 from the Westinghouse Learning Corp. and Ohio University. “It found that pre-schoolers who did make cognitive gains did not maintain them in early grades and that Head Start participants performed no better than children from similar backgrounds who had never been in the program,” the editorial says.
“Federal evaluations in 1985 and 2005 also found that any positive cognitive impact was transitory.”
The most recent study came from the Department of Health and Human Services last month. “Once again, the research showed that cognitive gains didn't last,” the editorial states. “By third grade, you can't tell Head Start alumni from their non-Head Start peers.”
So why do Congressmen want to keep throwing money at a flawed program? “Like so many programs directed at the poor, Head Start is well-intentioned, and that's enough for self-congratulatory progressives,” Journal writers say.
“But misleading low-income parents about the efficacy of a program is cruel and wastes taxpayer dollars.”
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