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School Quality and the Longer-Term Effects of Head Start

  • Janet Currie
  • Duncan Thomas

Research on Head Start suggests that effects on test scores "fade out" more quickly for black children than for white children. We use data from the 1988 wave of the National Educational Longitudinal Survey to show that Head Start black children go on to attend schools of worse quality than other black children. We do not see any similar pattern among whites. Moreover, when we stratify by an indicator of school quality, gaps in test scores between Head Start and other children are very similar for blacks and whites. Hence, the effects of Head Start may fade out more rapidly among black students, at least in part because black Head Start children are more likely to subsequently attend inferior schools.

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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 35 (2000)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 755-774

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:35:y:2000:i:4:p:755-774
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  1. W. Steven Barnett, 1992. "Benefits of Compensatory Preschool Education," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(2), pages 279-312.
  2. 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..
  3. Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett & Frank Levy, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," NBER Working Papers 5076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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..
  5. Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 1993. "Does Head Start Make a Difference?," NBER Working Papers 4406, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 1996. "Does Head Start Help Hispanic Children?," NBER Working Papers 5805, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
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