Head Start's Cost Effectiveness

Essay by surf100College, UndergraduateA-, September 2008

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The 2008 Presidential Elections are well on their way and many of the candidates are now making claims in order to gain public support; however, one must ask: How valid are their claims on every issue they are presenting to us as the American public, as part of their presidential candidacy? Barack Obama is one of the presidential candidates and one of the issues that Obama is campaigning for is a reform in education. One of the topics in education that Obama is suggesting is instituting a zero to five year old child education program that includes increasing the funding to a program called Head Start, a pre-kindergarten program for many disadvantaged children. As Obama's campaign website states: "Obama's plan places key emphasis at early care and education for infants, which is essential for children to be ready to enter kindergarten." His program will specifically target children from infants to five years old - trying to help them to be prepared to enter an academic setting.

Obama, in one of his speeches, was quoted as saying: "Early childhood education for every child so they're not left behind before they even start school." Obama's plan is to help all young children prepare to enter Kindergarten by having more children participate in Head Start. While sounding good on the surface, one must question what benefit such a program would provide to the children participating in Obama's "zero to five" program - especially in Head Start. Head Start is one of the key points of Obama's plan to reform education; however, Obama's plan does not consider several factors, the primary of which is the fade out phenomenon that occurs for many children that participate in Head Start. Throughout this paper, I would like to present the research of leading child education experts to...