The Long Term Effects Of Head Start

Decent Essays
Head Start is a federally funded government agency, that provides low income youth with pre-school and health services (Barnett, 2007). However, the long term effects of Head Start are extremely difficult to measure (Lee, Zhai, Brooks-Gunn, Han, & Waldfogel, 2013). Subsequently, Head Start has become one of the most controversial government agencies (Nathan, 2007).
Head Start was created in 1965, during Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidential administration, as part of the Great Society plan and the War on Poverty (Currie , 2001). After observing the quality discrepancies between low income and high income educational settings, Johnson realized that “Five and six year old children are inheritors of poverty 's curse…(Johnson, 1965)” As a result, he called for the creation of a program that would allow “…preschool children of poverty [to] get a Head Start on their future (Johnson, 1965).” Soon, Head Start was established, with the goal of “enhance[ing] children’s physical, social, emotional and cognitive development (Mississippi Head Start Association, 2012).”
For the first twenty years of its existence, Head Start was an intensive summer program (Hevesi, 2010). During an eight week period, throughout June and July, four and five year olds, from low income families, were taught fundamental math and reading skills that would prepare them for kindergarten in the fall (Hevesi, 2010). Due to the overwhelming success of the summer program, in 1982 Head Start was expanded to become a
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