Now that sequestration is upon us, our nation's leaders continue to debate which federal programs provide the best bang for the buck. When they ask how effective Head Start is, many legislators have cited the Head Start Impact Study. It concludes that although Head Start consistently closes the achievement gap and prepares many of America's poorest and neediest children for kindergarten, by third grade most children across the nation outperform and outscore children who attend Head Start. The main arguments regarding the study's conclusions have focused on where to affix responsibility for the "reopening" of the achievement gap - with Head Start or the elementary schools that Head Start children later attend.
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