Cleaner Classrooms and Rising Scores: With Tighter Oversight, Head Start Shows Gains (NYT)

“Head Start, the country’s biggest preschool program, is getting better.”

More than a decade after Congress imposed new standards on Head Start, a third of its partners have been forced to compete for funding that was once virtually automatic, and the share of classrooms ranked good or excellent has risen more than fourfold. With a $10 billion budget and nearly 900,000 low-income students, Head Start is a behemoth force in early education, in an age when brain science puts ever more emphasis on early learning.

‘The quality of Head Start has definitely improved,’ said Margaret Burchinal, a psychologist at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a Head Start authority. ‘That’s a big jump because there are so many classrooms involved. To make that much improvement across the whole country is pretty amazing.'”

https://nyti.ms/2UCe57x

“What’s the Difference between Boston and Tennessee?”

In a word, quality. “Tennessee doesn’t have a coherent vision,” Dale Farran, a Vanderbilt professor and the Tennessee study’s co-author, told me. “Left to their own devices, each teacher is inventing pre-K on her own.”

See David Kirp’s article, Does Pre-K Make Any Difference?, in response to the recent Pre-K study in Tennessee.