I keep pointing this out, but one more time can’t hurt

Government studies Head Start. Conclusion: after 48 years and 180 billion dollars (!) it’s made “no appreciable difference” in student preparedness. Another study showed that after two years in Head Start the average student knew two more letters of than alphabet than peers who stayed home. Not the entire alphabet, mind you, two letters.



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21 responses to “I keep pointing this out, but one more time can’t hurt

  1. Publius

    Mr. Fountain,

    See below, taken from today’s WSJ Letters to the Editor. The argument for Head Start based on Ms Vinci’s letter is that it is a social program designed to keep children away from their dysfunctional home life. Pair that with after school “enrichment” sometimes including dinner and voila, you have a full time day care program!

    We long ago stopped holding people accountable for their actions and we have have devolved into the clean up crew nation whose motto is “Don’t fix the problem, throw money at it !” Head Start is just another example of this approach. I am sure that Ms Vinci, ensconced in the very affluent Alexandria, Virginia suburb would prefer not to see her gravy train get the axe. Apparently, that overwhelming evidence is just a little hard to find.

    Head Start Really Does Help Kids

    Your editorial “Another Sandy Relief Trick” (Jan. 14) suggests that funding for hurricane-damaged Head Start programs is unjustified based on an assumption that the program doesn’t work.

    It is exasperating that critics continue to claim that Head Start is ineffective. The Impact Study to which the writers point in fact shows that Head Start does its job—it gets at-risk children ready for kindergarten. There is overwhelming evidence—hundreds of studies over four decades—that Head Start participants enter kindergarten at an advantage and reap tremendous long-term benefits. Head Start children have better health as teens and adults, higher high-school and college graduation rates and more engaged parents.

    We, too, were disappointed to learn the benefits of kindergarten readiness flatten out through third grade. Remember, however, that our work with Head Start students ends when they graduate. Yet, for many, circumstances continue to hinder success, including the quality of their primary and secondary education. Head Start children, like all children, benefit from attending high-performing schools but don’t have equal chances of attending such schools.

    Head Start children and families are defined by their resilience and grit, abundantly evident during Hurricane Sandy, which affected 800 Head Start facilities—25 of them catastrophically.

    The bottom line is that Head Start works. Perhaps critics should examine the broad investments required to support at-risk children throughout their early years. Better yet, before casting stones, perhaps critics should visit a Head Start Center to see firsthand how programs are transforming lives and laying a foundation for success.

    Yasmina Vinci

    National Head Start Association

    Alexandria, Va.

    • Anonymous

      Correction, Head Start is a program designed to keep its employees away from a dysfunctional home life and give otherwise non-competitive folks in the market place of skills someplace to be during the day.

      Also, they teach kids two letters. 48 years, $180 billion, two letters, that’s $1.875 billion per letter per year. And some folks complain about paying too much at the Defense Department.

  2. Fred2

    You know if we actually stopped all the useless programs like this & and did some proper reform of the rest; we might actually be able to have a balanced budget.

  3. Daniel

    How would that help the bankers?

  4. Chris now that your a famous blogger and have all the 2nd admind fans reading I want to know in your former legal life did you ever saw conflicts in the Stamford State’s attorney office like this?

    • pulled up in OG

      Great thing about Frontline – spelling unimportant and hides a multitude of grammars. : )

    • JRH

      Wow. Being a Muslim is not a conflict of interest. That is shameful “reporting.” Reminds me of when the Christian right called for Judge Vaughn Walker to recuse himself from the Prop 8 litigation because he is gay. (The Brady violation is interesting though.)

  5. It’s your blog Chris – I wouldn’t let PR people publish their whole line of spin thinking in the comments which are the fun part of this publication

    • Walt

      Dude –
      Ms. McBeal is back in the house!! YOU DAWG!! When are you two publishing your much anticipated expose about the Greenwich and New Canaan wife swapping scene? Was it groovy BABY!!

      And why is Ms. McBeal against the PR people posting on this blog? I know they don’t write very well, but that is because spray paint wasn’t invented until 1949. So as a people, they are still working on finding their literary style. Just like you!!

      So what would banning PR’s from posting on this blog accomplish? And how does she know the poster is a PR? Are they posting in Spanglish?

      What do you get when you cross a PR with a Chink?
      A car thief that can’t drive!!

      Your Pal,

  6. Artie

    Yeah, but which two letters??

  7. Brown Eyed Girl

    Really? Does someone presume to define a child’s healthy development by their incremental knowledge of the 26 letters of the English alphabet? Talk about stupid.

    • If you’re going to spend $180 billion on pre-school, those who are asked to foot the bill have a right to ask what they’re getting for their money. The alphabet’s too much to ask after two years of Head Start? Any measurable academic achievement three years out? No? Okay then, how about an ability to open a juice box unaided? Something must be going on there, right? Otherwise, people will start to think that the entire program is a fraud, designed and maintained solely as a means for politicians to reward their favorite constituencies by providing make-work jobs to otherwise unemployable illiterates.

      • dogwalker

        Have you ever tried to open a juice box? It’s no small feat! (without having a bunch of it squirt out, at least)

  8. Anonymous2

    Chris, you miss the point. Learning the alphabet isn’t the goal. The goal is teaching the little darlings that Big Daddy Government will be there all their lives handing out juicy welfare checks and food stamps. The last thing Big Daddy wants is for those people to be able to read. Besides, aren’t they all named Julia?

  9. Peg

    So many of my parents’ friends and of their era started out with nothing. Either they were incredibly lucky to literally escape with their skin from the Holocaust …. or they’d grown up as the children of immigrants, living in poor to lower class ghettos of one sort or another.

    Nevertheless, they worked two jobs while they went to college, or started small businesses and worked their asses off. Most became moderately to quite successful, with families and marriages that lasted more than 50 years.

    No, it wasn’t all rosy and blue skies and plenty of the families had darkness in the background. My point, however, was that they didn’t wail about what the government was giving them or all the hard knocks they’d faced. They sat down and ground out what they had to do to have a decent life and raise a family – and to be responsible for themselves overall.

    What the hell happened to that kind of attitude?

  10. Anonymous

    The Entitle Class was spawned by FDR, raised by LBJ and multiplied by BHO. They are now the majority in the U.S. The genie cannot be put back in the bottle. The depression era work ethic and values are dwindling because our society and culture (read Hollywood, Main Stream Media and Liberals) promote entitlement and boorish behavior.

    • We need more immigrants who aren’t fourth-generation welfare recipients and who still have a drive to succeed.My vote’s for more Mexicans, but I’m not all that picky.

      • Peg

        I’ve had companies that employ Mexicans work on my house. They worked hard and long and well. I’ve also had a few real estate clients who’ve hailed from Mexico. Very good experiences with them, too.

        I’m delighted to have people come here from other nations if they wish to abide by our laws and be good citizens! As CF points out – too many of those already here aren’t willing to do that…….😦

  11. just_looking

    It has been generations now of people being rewarded for wrong behavior and punished for good behavior. The incentives will create the behavior. As stated, the genie cannot be put back in.