July 23, 2014

Renewing Head Start’s Promise

By Bellwether

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Today, Bellwether and Results for America are releasing a new paper I wrote on Head Start. The paper looks at the results of the reforms made to Head Start in the 2007 reauthorization–specifically the designation renewal process that requires underperforming grantees to compete to retain their grants, and the use of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System as a quality measure for Head Start grantees. I find that, while there has been real progress, and there are also places where the 2007 reforms have come up short. This isn’t primarily an indictment of the 2007 reforms, however, but a reflection of more fundamental issues in Head Start–such as a lack of clear goals and over-focus on compliance rather than performance. The paper offers recommendations both to increase the effectiveness of the 2007 reforms, and to address the more fundamental challenges facing Head Start. Check it out here.

–Sara Mead

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