Research tells us that, overall, Head Start has positive effects on children’s health, education, and economic outcomes. But there is wide variability in quality from program to program — and, as a field, we don’t understand why.
Earlier this year, Sara Mead and I tried to figure that out. We published an analysis, conducted over three years, of several of the highest performing Head Start programs across the country. We specifically looked at programs that produce significant learning gains for children. Our goal was to understand what made them so effective.
As part of this project, we provided detailed, tactical information about exemplars’ design and practices. We hope to serve as a resource and starting point for other Head Start programs interested in experimenting with something new and, potentially, more effective.
Here are three action steps that Head Start programs can take right now to improve their practice: Continue reading