Created in 1965, Head Start is the longest-running program for stopping the cycle of Poverty in the United States. It provides comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to Low Income children and their families. As of late 2005, more than 22 million Pre-School aged children have participated in Head Start. The $6.8+ billion dollar budget for 2005 provided services to more than 905,000 children, 57% of whom were four years old or older, and 43% three years old or younger.
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The early education program best known to Americans, HeadStart, enrolls far more children and expends far fewer resources per child than the smaller intensive programs set up with experimental designs.
Steven D Levitt and Stephen J Dubner, authors of Freakonomics, conclude that Head Start participation has no lasting effect on test scores in the early years of school, based on regression analysis of data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study. Levitt, one of the authors of Freakonomics, and Fryer come to the same conclusion in one 2004 paper they wrote.
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