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Does Head Start Do Any Lasting Good?

44 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2011  

Chloe Gibbs

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jens Ludwig

Georgetown University - Public Policy Institute (GPPI); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Douglas L. Miller

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics

Date Written: September 2011

Abstract

Head Start is a federal early childhood intervention designed to reduce disparities in preschool outcomes. The first randomized experimental study of Head Start, the National Head Start Impact Study (NHSIS), found impacts on academic outcomes of .15 to .3 standard deviations measured at the end of the program year, although the estimated impacts were no longer significant when measured at the end of kindergarten or first grade. Assessments that Head Start is ineffective based on the NHSIS results are in our view premature, given our currently limited understanding of how and why early childhood education improves long-term life chances. Many of the specific changes to Head Start that have been proposed could potentially wind up doing more harm than good.

Suggested Citation

Gibbs, Chloe and Ludwig, Jens and Miller, Douglas L., Does Head Start Do Any Lasting Good? (September 2011). NBER Working Paper No. w17452. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1932582

Chloe Gibbs (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Jens Ludwig

Georgetown University - Public Policy Institute (GPPI) ( email )

3600 N Street, NW Suite 200
Washington, DC 20057
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Douglas L. Miller

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics ( email )

One Shields Drive
Davis, CA 95616-8578
United States
530-752-8490 (Phone)

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