Chapter

Promises and Politics

Elizabeth Rose

in The Promise of Preschool

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780195395075
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199775767 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195395075.003.0002
Promises and Politics

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The creation of the federal Head Start program in 1965 put the needs of young children from poor families on the national agenda. Head Start was inspired both by research suggesting the promise of early intervention and by the politics of Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty, which required that it be launched quickly and on a large scale, and that it bypass the structures of local government. Local programs varied widely in how they prioritized Head Start's different goals, making it difficult to assess the program's success. By drawing national attention to the promise of preschool for the poor, Head Start also spurred interest in preschool for other children, leading to the expansion of public kindergartens, private nursery schools, and the television show Sesame Street.

Keywords: Head Start; Sargent Shriver; 1960s; research; Office of Economic Opportunity; War on Poverty; community control

Chapter.  12502 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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