Thesis

Head Start Effects Past the Elementary Years in the United States

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the state-funded early childhood education program Head Start to see if there were lasting positive effects past the elementary years in their reading and math scores. This was determined by retrieving date from the Nation’s Report card government website and the National Institute for Early Education Research study when looking at the Head Start program state by state. The data was secondary and analyzed together in SPSS. The results of the data collected showed mixed findings. One result was the 4th and 8th-grade math scores showed no discernable positive statistically significant effects when looking at the quality of the Head Start program. The last interesting result showed statistical significance when looking at the 4th and 8th grade reading scores. It illustrated that there were lasting positive effects when looking at the quality of the Head Start programs with a few others being close to statistical significance. The recommendations listed accompany the findings are to increase funding to Head Start or implement a follow-up intervention program to sustain the boost indicated in the 4th and 8th-grade reading scores and hope the positive effect spills over into other school subjects.

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