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School Quality and the Longer-Term Effects of Head Start

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  • Janet Currie
  • Duncan Thomas

Abstract

Recent research on Head Start, an enriched preschool program for poor children that effects on test scores fade out' more quickly for black children than for white children. This" paper uses data from the 1988 wave of the National Educational Longitudinal Survey to show that" black children who attended Head Start go on to attend schools of worse quality' than other black" children, in the sense that they attend schools in which most children have worse test scores. We" do not see any similar pattern among white children, indicating that on average children attend schools similar to those attended by other white children. Moreover stratify by school type, we find that gaps in test scores between Head Start and other children are" very similar for blacks and whites. These patterns suggest that the effects of Head Start may fade" out more rapidly among black students than among whites, at least in part because black Head Start" children are more likely to subsequently attend bad schools.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6362.

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Date of creation: Jan 1998
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Publication status: published as Currie, Janet and Duncan Thomas. "School Quality And The Longer-Term Effects Of Head Start," Journal of Human Resources, 2000, v35(4,Fall), 755-774.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6362

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  1. repec:fth:prinin:334 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Murnane, Richard J & Willett, John B & Levy, Frank, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 251-66, May.
  3. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1990. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Working Papers 645, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  4. Currie, J. & Thomas, D., 1995. "Does Head Start make a Difference?," Papers 95-10, RAND - Reprint Series.
  5. W. Steven Barnett, 1992. "Benefits of Compensatory Preschool Education," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(2), pages 279-312.
  6. Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 1996. "Does Head Start Help Hispanic Children?," NBER Working Papers 5805, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Michael A. Boozer & Alan B. Krueger & Shari Wolkon, 1992. "Race and School Quality Since Brown vs. Board of Education," NBER Working Papers 4109, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Korenman, Sanders & Miller, Jane E. & Sjaastad, John E., 1995. "Long-term poverty and child development in the United States: Results from the NLSY," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 127-155.
  9. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1994. "The Economic Return to School Quality: A Partial Survey," Working Papers 713, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  10. Robert J. LaLonde, 1995. "The Promise of Public Sector-Sponsored Training Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 149-168, Spring.
  11. Ehrenberg, Ronald G. & Brewer, Dominic J., 1994. "Do school and teacher characteristics matter? Evidence from High School and Beyond," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 1-17, March.
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