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The Promise of PreschoolFrom Head Start to Universal Pre-Kindergarten$
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Elizabeth Rose

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195395075

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195395075.001.0001

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Promises and Politics

Promises and Politics

Head Start Sets the Stage in the 1960s

(p.13) Chapter 1 Promises and Politics
The Promise of Preschool

Elizabeth Rose (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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

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