Head Start Fails Test

, Deborah Lambert, Leave a comment

For years, do-gooders have sung the praises of Head Start, the government-funded pre-school program that was destined to improve educational improvement for black inner city children. Recently, some long-suppressed government reports have finally revealed that it doesn’t work, despite spending nearly $7 billion on nearly 1 million children every year.

In fact, in Florida’s Miami-Dade County, officials have finally decided that they “want out” of the program, because of the overly generous salaries, according to the Miami Herald.

In Miami-Dade, the average annual Head Start teachers pay is $76,860 in salary and fringe benefits – and by the way, that’s a hefty “90 percent higher than the second higher-paying Head Start provider in the County, Catholic Charities, which paid its teachers an average of $40,418 in salary and benefits.”

But that’s not all. At least 17 Head Start administrators “made more than $100,000 in salary and benefits.”

Head Start has been a constant drag on the country budget, primarily because of high salaries. After all the average teachers on the payroll “made more than triple the $19,441” given to the lowest paid Head Start teachers, and about “8,000 more than the average public school teacher in the county.

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These days, defenders of Head Start say less about what it does for kids (essentially nothing) but about the jobs it creates in poor neighborhoods. This is blue liberal thinking at its most self-parodic: we can’t develop social programs that will accomplish something worthwhile, but we can at least use the illusion that such programs work to create jobs for people who will then vote for the politicians who give them make work jobs.

Deborah Lambert writes the Squeaky Chalk column for Accuracy in Academia.

If you would like to comment on this article, e-mail mal.kline@academia.org.