HHS Study: Head Start Kids Have More Problems with Math, Social Interactions


HHS Study: Head Start Kids Have More Problems with Math, Social Interactions
by Dr. Susan Berry

23 Feb 2013, 8:47 AM PDT

This past week, President Obama warned Americans that, if the sequester occurs, hundreds of thousands of children will lose access to Project Head Start. A new study, however, published by the Obama administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has found that students who participate in the $8 billion Head Start program actually fare worse, in some ways, than students who do not.

The study also found that positive effects of the program are not sustained into elementary school.

However, when researchers evaluated 4,667 elementary students, they concluded that the program provided no measurable benefit for children by the time they reached the third grade compared to those children who were in a similar socio-economic group but were not in the program. Of the children who were not enrolled in Head Start, about 60 percent received another form of preschool education, the quality of which was judged to be generally inferior to that provided in Head Start.

The large-scale study found that children who participated in the Head Start program actually did worse in math and had more problems with social interaction by the third grade than children who were not in the program.

To be honest, that Head Start has no benefits that last past the first half of elementary school is not news. This report simply confirms some three decades of similar reports (the provenance of this report and those previous report should suffice to squash any Prog conspiracy theories that this is “conveniently timed” for opposing Obama’s proposed universal preschool … should, but I doubt that it will). Head Start has been and is a worthless, expensive, sacred cow! And it should have been and remained none of the Feds’____ business!


We enrolled my son in a private pre-school that focused in kindergarten prep. It was not a glorified day care which is what people want the government to provide and what Head Start tends to be. It helped my son to do this but, Ias his parent, still had to help him with his own difficulties as he moved through grade school and is now in middle school.

It all boils down to parental involvement and having a decent local school system. You can spend the best money on the best schools from the time that they are in diapers. Without parental involvement and good teachers, it is all a waste. Now, people want to thow tax money at public pre-school that already has a documented record of not really providing and advantage for the student.


Conservative Libertarian:

It all boils down to parental involvement.

Exactly. Both of my children went to Head Start. Guess who was there volunteering on almost a daily basis.

It’s mostly sand-box stuff. However, having my kids enrolled gave me an opportunity to observe a lot of other kids.
Now, you know I’m no Liberal, but I rode the bus and saw what these kids grow up around. W/o Head Start, they would’ve gotten no attention.
I mean basic stuff. Like how to set and sit at a table. I think some might’ve not gotten to eat.

Please forgive me. I was fairly dense about politics back then. All I knew is that the more hours I could put in, the more money H.S. would get. Yes, that’s what each individual school’s income is based on; input from volunteer man-hours. I thought it a fairly fair exchange.
Tax-payers put in the money: We parents put in our time.

At least that’s how it worked around 30 years ago.


Wish I could double-Thank ConLib’s post above. Except for the kind of “parents” who should be in jail or a mental asylum, no amount of government $$ thrown at “education” (Can you say, “Union payoff!”? That forced unionization of preschool workers at preschools that receive government $$ would be part of Obama’s bill - or the bill introduced by his proxy - is a near sucker bet) can come close to equaling what involved parents can accomplish. Of course, having homeschooled our kids K-12, I’m quite “biased”!