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Despite 30 years of anti-poverty programs in the United States, poverty in the United States has intensified. One such program, Head Start, demonstrated that it is possible to enhance the educational outcomes of poor children. Updated and improved, Head Start has the potential to become a more successful weapon against poverty. Inadequate funding, quality problems and lack of socioeconomic integration have plagued Head Start since its inception, sometimes reducing in practice the effectiveness of an otherwise sound concept. Head Start needs to be improved in numerous ways, through increased funding, year-round programs with longer hours, more parent participation, and, most of all, the extension of Head Start past the preschool years and into the elementary and middle grades. The most efficient and effective way to accomplish this last goal is to revamp and integrate the federal Chapter 1 Program, designed to improve academic achievement among economically and educationally deprived children from preschool to high school, into Head Start, focusing on preventive, comprehensive, parent-orientated services. (MDM)

Descriptors: Academic Achievement, At Risk Persons, Early Intervention, Educational Change, Educational Improvement, Elementary Secondary Education, Parent Participation, Poverty, Poverty Programs, Preschool Education, Program Improvement

Autor: Zigler, Edward


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