Head Start and Beyond

A National Plan for Extended Childhood Intervention

Edited by Edward F. Zigler and Sally J. Styfco

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February 22, 1995
174 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
ISBN: 9780300063189
Paper

Also Available in:
Cloth

For almost thirty years, the U.S. government has funded education programs to help disadvantaged children succeed in school. In this important new book, Edward Zigler, one of the leading figures in this effort, and his associates evaluate the three existing programs (Head Start, Follow Through, and Chapter 1), Senator Edward Kennedy describes the newly created Head Start Transition Project, and the authors propose a bold plan to redirect and consolidate the programs in order to achieve a coherent, comprehensive policy for the nation's impoverished young children.

The authors conclude that the Head Start model has been effective in enhancing the social competence and school success of poor children. They argue that Follow Through, which was intended to be a national program, now represents a tiny experiment in education that is too minimally funded to have an impact. And Chapter 1, which exists in over 90 percent of the nation's school districts and is massively funded, has become a supplementary funding program for local schools rather than a demonstrably effective educational treatment. The new Head Start Transition Project plans to extend Head Start's health and other support services, its efforts to involve parents, and its creative programming and evaluation to children in kindergarten through third grade. The authors suggest an alternative plan: that the huge Chapter 1 program adopt the model of the Transition Project and become the school-age version of Head Start, creating a well-funded, coordinated, and cost-effective series of interventions with unified goals and comprehensive services to meet the needs of poor children from the preschool years through the early elementary grades.

Edward Zigler, Sterling Professor of Psychology and Director of the Bush Center in Child Development and Social Policy at Yale University, is one of the architects and the principal chronicler of Head Start. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including, with Meryl Frank, The Parental Leave Crisis: Toward a National Policy. Sally J. Styfco is a specialist in child and family issues at the Psychology Department and Bush Center at Yale University.

"In this volume, Zigler and Styfco look at the three large federal programs for the education of disadvantaged children—Head Start, Follow Through, and the Title I/Chapter I programs—and discuss how their missions might be interrelated. There could hardly be a better time for this kind of discussion. No one is better qualified to think about the issues and to set the stage for a public consideration of the questions than Zigler."—Sheldon H. White, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University

"This excellent volume compares the nationally successful outreach model, Head Start, with other outreach programs to alleviate the effects of poverty on children. These wonderful ideas delineated in this book present guidelines for future national and local early intervention programs."—T. Berry Brazelton, M.D., professor emeritus, Harvard Medical School

"[This] book is accessible to an unusually wide range of audiences in child development, education, and social policy including researchers, program designers and evaluators, and policy makers. . . . I highly recommend this forward-looking volume. It is full of insights and good ideas."—Arthur J. Reynolds, Child Development Abstracts & Bibliography

"A fascinating look at the massive institution that Head Start has become, and the myriad possibilities for what could well be its next twenty-five years. . . . A thoughtful and informative discussion of the issues that will be critical for Head Start's future success."—Harvard Educational Review

"This slim volume is key reading for American policy-makers, taxpayers and educators interested in reviewing the thirty-year impact of governmentally funded early intervention programmes."—Virginia E. Garland, Journal of Educational Administration and History

"A tremendous resource on the thirty-year history of preschool and elementary education for economically disadvantaged children in the United States, and everyone with an interest in effective outcomes in early childhood education should read it. . . . The authors offer a great deal of experience and insight in a very manageable book that ought to be taken seriously by policy makers."—Judith Russell, Political Science Quarterly

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