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October 10, 2005

Head Start to Nowhere
by: Malcolm A. Kline, October 04, 2005
Article from Accuracy in Academia's www.campusreportonline.net

At its best, the record on the 40-year-old federal Head Start program was mixed. Now, the middle-aged government program is becoming downright dangerous, according to Karen Effrem, a director of EdWatch.org.

We've had 20 million children go through Head Start at a cost of $50 billion and we've had 600 studies of the program, Dr. Effrem, a Minnesota pediatrician, pointed out on the last broadcast of Accuracy in Academias Campus Report. Those studies, Dr. Effrem notes, show that when children do show progress in the program, as measured by the U. S. Department of Education, those gains disappear after the first year of primary school.

Aimed at three- and four-year-olds, Head Start is a creation of President Lyndon B. Johnsons Great Society. Moreover, many of the gains recorded in Head Start are psychosocial rather than cognitive so that children in the program are polled rather than tested.

On the one hand, there are the Head Start Child Outcome Framework standards on Math. These standards urge teachers to make sure that the student demonstrates increasing interest and awareness of numbers and counting as a means for solving problems and determining quantity and develops increased abilities to combine, separate and name how many concrete objects.

But the guidelines for Head Start, whose originator specialized in the ecology of human development emphasize the whole child. Thus, the Emotional Development section of the Head Start Outcomes urge that the child shows progress in expressing feelings, needs and opinions in difficult situations without harming themselves, others or property and demonstrate increasing competency in recognizing and describing own emotions.

And, the Self-Concept section urges the teacher to see that the child begins to develop and express awareness of self in terms
[See the complete article here.]

Malcolm A. Kline is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia.


Other links:
* Minnesota Nanny State Tidal Wave Held Back
* Questions and Answers regarding the Nanny State System
* Commentary on Baby Ed

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