The same data- and evidence-driven approach that was made famous by a former baseball general manager would dramatically improve the 50-year-old federal preschool program for young children, says a report written in partnership with Head Start advocates and good-governance think tanks.
For example, Head Start needs to start investing more in research so that it can figure out the practices of the most effective Head Start centers and replicate them across the country, the report says. Currently, a quarter of 1 percent of Head Start’s $8.6 billion budget is spent on research and evaluation, and that should be boosted to 1 percent, according to the report.
The Office of Head Start should also be more transparent in reporting the performance of its approximately 1,600 grantees, the report contends.
The title refers to an analytical approach popularized by former Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane, who used statistical analysis to build winning baseball teams. The report was supported by the group, Results for America, the National Head Start Association, and the Volcker Alliance, begun in 2013 by former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul Volcker.
A version of this article appeared in the January 20, 2016 edition of Education Week as Early Childhood