Head Start Renewal Advances Amid Debate Over Testing
The Senate education committee last week approved a bipartisan bill to reauthorize Head Start that would expand eligibility for the federal preschool program, tighten accountability for local grantees, and abolish the National Reporting System, a federal test given to all 4- and 5-year-old Head Start pupils.
The measure, which cleared the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on a voice vote Feb. 14, advanced the same week a report commissioned by the Department of Health and Human Services recommended that Head Start continue to administer the test—and possibly expand it to cover content areas beyond mathematics and literacy.
The report, by a panel of reading and early-childhood-education experts, also says more work should be done on the testing system to address the needs of English-language learners and young children with disabilities. The Feb. 12 report was commissioned by the Administration for Children and Families, the agency within the Department of Health and Human Services that oversees Head Start, which...
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