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The Evolution of Head Start: An Audio Interview

Edward F. Zigler, then a 34-year-old associate professor of psychology at Yale University, was one of 14 experts asked in 1965 to create the framework of what would become the nation's federally funded preschool program for the poor. On the cusp of Head Start's 50th anniversary, he reflects on the program's formation, its strengths, and his hopes for Head Start's future.

Head Start's Launch

"What program in Washington has lasted more than 50 years? To me that's the earmark of a success."

Head Start's Issues

"The literature shows that a middle-class kid in a preschool program leads to improved performance for poor kids without harming the performance of the middle-class kids...That's the big one."

Head Start's Successes

"If you want to measure the impact of Head Start, you should measure improvement in kids and improvement in parents. To the degree that parents improve in any way that's going to help children."

Reporting: Christina A. Samuels | Photos: File, Aaron Turner | Design: Megan Garner

Vol. 33, Issue 37

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