The National Head Start Association released data last week that it said showed Head Start programs across the country were successful in preparing young children for school. The group criticized the Bush administration for allegedly holding back in announcing the results.
Officials of the Alexandria, Va.-based association, which represents Head Start teachers and parents, accused the administration of keeping positive data under wraps because it wants to dismantle the program. Steve Barbour, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees Head Start, said test scores from the National Reporting System assessment of Head Start programs haven’t been released because the information is not ready and hasn’t been presented to Congress.
The National Reporting System study showed that 4- and 5-year-olds in the Head Start program improved their skills in vocabulary, letter recognition, and early math after one school year.
The NHSA and the Bush administration have been at odds over how to administer the Head Start program, which is up for reauthorization by Congress.
A version of this article appeared in the February 09, 2005 edition of Education Week