We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Head Start, which provides preschool programs to poor families, is a prime example of the Senate committee’s true attitude toward evidence-based decision-making. In January, the Health and Human Services Department released a study of Head Start’s overall impact. The conclusions were disturbing. By the end of first grade, the study found, Head Start graduates were doing no better than students who didn’t attend Head Start. “No significant impacts were found for math skills, pre-writing, children’s promotion, or teacher report of children’s school accomplishments or abilities in any year,” the report concluded.

And how did the Senate panel react to this dismal evidence? They set aside $8.2 billion for Head Start in 2011, almost a billion dollars more than in 2010. Of course, the fact that Congress spends billions of dollars each year on unproven programs does not itself argue that the government should start spending hundreds of millions of new dollars on new unproven programs. But it does undercut the argument that federal education dollars should be reserved only for conclusively proven initiatives.

– Paul Tough in an op-ed in the New York Times.

…via Steve Sailer, who comments:

That’s pretty funny when you stop and think about it.

5 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • PersonFromPorlock

    I have to admit that Congress’s logic about Head Start eludes me, and Mr. Tough’s elaboration of it eludes me even more. It must be that I’m unintelligent.

  • Mike Lorrey

    By this logic, NASA’s budget should be doubled.

  • Karen G

    It’s pure politics. Anyone who would try to cut the budget for any program even remotely associated with children would be slowly roasted over an open lava pit. And any politician who demanded accountability would instantly be called a racist because this program is aimed at the poor and inner-city children, many of whom are minorities. So, you see, we have a political white elephant that can’t be touched.

  • CR

    So what’s a poor parent to do? Talk to infants, read to kids, help pre-schoolers learn to speak a foreign language if possible. Let kids learn a musical instrument later. No fancy pre-school experts required.

    In Finland, kids don’t start school until they’re seven, and they out-perform kids in most countries by high school. Their parents read, and read to them. Probably expose them to a foreign language, too. Finnish is complex.

  • CR

    And turn the TV off. Keep kids active.