From the Heritage Foundation:

What’s the best way to make sure nobody sees the results of a scientifically rigorous evaluation? Release your findings on the Friday afternoon before Christmas.

Today the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will release the findings of its long overdue (four years overdue to be exact) third-grade follow-up study of the Head Start program. The first-grade evaluation —a rigorous experimental evaluation conducted by HHS in 2010—found that any benefits of participating in the program completely disappeared by the first grade.

Moreover, HHS found that access to Head Start failed to have any impact on 4-year-old children for the 41 assessed cognitive measures. On the 41 assessed cognitive measures for the 3-year-old cohort, Head Start actually did have an effect on one of the measures—teacher-assessed math ability—but it was negative. That is, Head Start actually had a harmful effect on children’s mathematics skills, as reported by their teachers.

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