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MONEYBALL FOR HEAD START 1

Using Data, Evidence, and Evaluation to Improve Outcomes for Children and Families

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MONEYBALL for HEAD START:

JANUARY 2016

MONEYBALL FOR HEAD START 1

Sara Mead and Ashley LiBetti Mitchel

 

 

MONEYBALL FOR HEAD START 2

The Volcker Alliance was launched in 2013 by former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul A. Volcker to address the challenge of effective execution of public policies and to help rebuild public trust in government. The nonpartisan Alliance works toward that broad objective by partnering with other organizations—academic, business, governmental, and public interest—to strengthen professional education for public service, conduct needed research on government performance, and improve the efficiency and accountability of governmental organization at the federal, state, and local levels.

Bellwether Education Partners is a nonprofit dedicated to helping education organizations in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors become more effective in their work and achieve dramatic results, especially for high-need students. To do so, we provide a unique combination of exceptional thinking, talent, and hands-on strategic support.

Results for America (RFA) is improving outcomes for young people, their families, and communities by shifting public resources toward evidence-based, results-driven solutions. RFA is working to achieve this goal through a three-part strategy: building a strong, bipartisan Invest in What Works coalition; developing and advancing the next generation of evidence-based, results-driven practices, policies, and programs; and supporting leaders at all levels of government to invest in what works.

The National Head Start Association (NHSA) is a nonprofit organization committed to the belief that every child, regardless of circumstances at birth, has the ability to succeed in life. NHSA is the voice for more than 1 million children, 200,000 staff and 1,600 Head Start grantees in the United States. Since 1974, NHSA has worked diligently for policy changes that ensure all at-risk children have access to the Head Start model of support for the whole child, the family and the community. NHSA’s vision is to lead – to be the untiring voice that will not be quiet until every vulnerable child is served with the Head Start model of support for the whole child, the family and the community – and to advocate – to work diligently for policy and institutional changes that ensure all vulnerable children and families have what they need to succeed. NHSA’s mission is to coalesce, inspire, and support the Head Start field as a leader in early childhood development and education.

Cover Photo: Keith Dunlop

 

 

MONEYBALL FOR HEAD START 3

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Head Start is a valuable federal program that improves the lives of our nation’s most vulnerable children and their families. Research shows that Head Start programs improve children’s learning at school entry and have a positive impact on long-term life outcomes. Yet research also suggests that Head Start could have a stronger impact on children’s early learning, school, and life outcomes. The key question is, how can policymakers and practitioners maximize outcomes for Head Start children and their families?

This paper — the product of a combined effort of Results for America, Bellwether Education Partners, the National Head Start Association, and the Volcker Alliance — outlines a vision for a continuous improvement approach that uses data, evidence, and evaluation to improve outcomes at all levels of the Head Start program.

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