The facts about Head Start

March 01, 2011

It has seemed to me for a long time that The Sun's Editorial/Opinion section is in great need of an 'adult in the room.' What I mean is that The Sun publishes Readers Respond and Commentary sections that often contain opinions hiding as facts.

For instance, in a letter titled "Head Start program is a waste of money," the writer states that "Every study of Head Start shows there is no - zip, none - long-term learning advantage for kids enrolled in the program." This statement is absolutely not correct.

When one Googles '"Head Start results" there magically appears a long list of studies extolling the long-term success of the Head Start Program.

"Nearly four decades of research establishes that Head Start delivers the intended services and improves the lives and development of the children and families it serves . . . Head Start produces substantial long-term educational benefits."

This quote is from W. Steven Barnett, director of the National Institute for Early Education Research, and it is the very first entry to appear in my search.

In the spirit of responsible journalism, The Sun should make some attempt to fact check and publish corrections for obvious misinformation and misconceptions. It could start by reminding its commentary writers that they are not entitled to their own facts.

Paul Ciesla, Aberdeen

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