Dismal Education: The Head Start Failure

Whenever government takes on a task for which it is ill-suited, failure ensues. Nowhere is this failure more evident than in the realm of education. I always begin with a Biblical analysis, and in this case I find no basis in Scripture for civil government to be in charge of education. That is primarily the responsibility of parents. Historically in America—prior to the development of the public school system—parents, churches, private academies, and local townships dominated education, and we were probably the most literate nation on earth.

Then we decided to mess up the system by getting the government deeply involved. There are a lot of examples I could give, but today I just want to mention the Head Start program that began in the 1960s as part of LBJ’s Great Society—one of the greatest misnomers in history.

The stated goal of Head Start was to provide comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parental involvement services to low-income children and their families. Sounds good, right? It has continued to expand over the years, always getting reauthorized with even more funding, because presumably all these problems can be solved by spending as much money as possible. At least that’s the theory.

Studies, though, even those conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services, are revealing a rather dismal showing for all the dollars being thrown at these children. Although they seem to be helping them at the ages of three and four, by the time they have completed first grade, there is no discernible difference in their performance or emotional stability than the children who were not in the program. Spending those billions of dollars yielded little in return. No amount of funding can compensate for the fact that 70% of inner-city children grow up without a father in the home. The destruction of the family structure has more of a negative impact on these children than anything government can do to balance that loss. Yet those who are responsible for the program have a hard time facing reality.

The cartoon captures an important fact about how liberals/progressives operate: it’s more about feeling good about doing something they believe is beneficial than it is about being really effective. They live for the government program and cannot handle the truth. In fact, they are very skilled at fixing the blame elsewhere:

Head Start is only one small example of government-sponsored education’s spiritual, moral, and intellectual poverty. Even more pernicious are the emphases on trendy causes such as diversity, multiculturalism, environmentalism, radical feminism, and the immorality of most sex education. If we want to examine the roots of our cultural rot, a major factor would have to be the deterioration of education. That’s probably sufficient reason for a series of posts in the near future.

Enjoy Your Saturday

It’s not really my intention to turn each Saturday into a cartoon-fest, but if you consider that bothersome, you can always go somewhere else on the Net—there’s a whole world that awaits.

But for those of you who choose to stay with me today, here’s my tribute to really well done political analysis via illustration. Let’s focus today on the many wonderful policies emanating from this administration and their consequences.

Obamacare, of course, has been the highlight of the past year. Have you read that there are now more than 1000 waivers that have been granted? If you need that many waivers, is it at all conceivable that the legislation is pretty awful to being with?

Energy policy has been gearing up lately. Obama is a strong proponent of green technology. Where will that lead?

If you don’t mind, I’d rather not go there. Of course, we can always do nuclear power, but everyone seems to be afraid of it after the Japan earthquake:

It would be nice to get our “fear priorities” straight. Continuing with the nuclear theme:

Why, we can’t cut programs, we’re told—they are all so effective. In what dream world might that be?

Even NPR is sacrosanct:

If you’re not sure what’s good for you, your friendly neighborhood progressive will be only too happy to inform you.

Enjoy your Saturday.