Helen Blank

Recent Articles

Head Start Under Assault

Who would have thought a 40-year-old program that has helped millions of our nation's poorest preschoolers get a head start could come under attack? Despite its many successes, recorded by researchers and lived by families, Head Start's future is now uncertain as policy-makers debate a Bush-administration proposal that could effectively dismantle the cherished program. This debate badly misses the mark. While some policy-makers have set their sights on Head Start, millions of low-income children still do not have the benefit of a strong early-education experience. A Head Start teacher still earns roughly half the salary of a kindergarten teacher. Meanwhile, the discussion in Washington focuses on moving the management of Head Start from the federal government to the states and narrowing the program's services, assuming that these changes will somehow yield the kind of early-childhood system our country needs for poor children. Since 1965, Head Start has been serving the children who...