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School Quality and the Longer-Term Effects of Head Start

  • Janet Currie
  • Duncan Thomas

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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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6362.pdf
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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
Note: CH
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  1. 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.
  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. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1992. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 1-40, February.
  4. Currie, Janet & Thomas, Duncan, 1995. "Does Head Start Make a Difference?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 341-64, June.
  5. Currie, J & Thomas, D, 1996. "Does Head Start Help Hispanic Children?," Papers 96-17, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  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. 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.
  10. W. Steven Barnett, 1992. "Benefits of Compensatory Preschool Education," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(2), pages 279-312.
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