Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

John J. Pitney

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© 2016 Grace H. Lee


Head Start began in 1965 as a part of the War on Poverty led by President Lyndon B. Johnson. After more than 50 years, it has remained as one of the most popular government social programs with support from across the political spectrum. However, there have been mixed results regarding the effectiveness of Head Start in participants' educational gains. Despite the mixed research, Head Start has continued to receive support by the public and both political parties throughout the decades. While there are disagreements on reforms to be made to Head Start, there has been increasing agreement around making providers more accountable for program quality through an evidence-based approach. The 2007 reauthorization of Head Start captures the spirit of Head Start as a “national laboratory” of what creates the best outcomes for children.