Government Manipulation of Education Research

We all remember how Arne Duncan and the Obama administration manipulated the official evaluation of the DC voucher program by burying the release of positive results on a Friday after Congress failed to reauthorize the program.

If you thought that government manipulation of education research was limited to school choice because of the union’s special hatred of vouchers, you’d be wrong.  The Tricky Dicks in Washington are at it again, this time by manipulating the release of a Head Start evaluation.

According to Dan Lips of the Heritage Foundation in a commentary on the Fox News web site, an evaluation of the long-term effects of Head Start was supposed to be released in March 2009.  Data collection for the evaluation was completed in the spring of 2006. Yet the study remains unreleased.

The delay may have something to do with the fact that the Obama Administration and congressional Democrats are huge supporters of expanding government-subsidized or provided pre-school.  And according to Dan Lips’ sources in the Department of Health and Human Services, which is overseeing the Head Start evaluation, the results of the government study show no lasting benefits to Head Start, which is the largest government pre-school program.  Government officials seem to be burying or at least delaying the release of those results so as not to spoil plans for the expansion of government pre-school programs.

Let this be a lesson.  As the federal government’s role in evaluating education programs grows, so does the potential for political mischief with that research.

(edited for clarity)

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6 Responses to Government Manipulation of Education Research

  1. Dan says:

    Thanks a lot for posting this, Jay. As I tried to convey in my article, I think this is a really important story for federal education policy and the national preschool debate.

    But I also think that this is troubling given the current debate about health care in Congress. If the Department of HHS can’t responsibly handle a study about a preschool program, what should we expect when their powers are greatly expanded to regulate / oversee health care?

  2. Greg Forster says:

    Jay, I object strongly to the inclusion of the words “the potential for” in the last sentence of your post. As it stands, the sentence is deeply misleading at best. To make the sentence accurate you need to delete those three words.

  3. [...] Greene suggests we have a case of government manipulation of education research on our hands, and especially after the way the evaluation of the D.C. scholarship program was [...]

  4. Harry Pappas says:

    Head Start programs should involve culture as well as education. If infants receive love, care, and attention from the moment of their birth, with 4 years of activities & encouragement to develop their brains, we will have bona fide students entering kindergarten rather than human beings practically raised in the wild, ready to torment their teachers, and hate school and discipline forever. How children are raised from birth has a tremendous effect on their future education and livelihood, not to mention an inevitable reduction in potential welfare and/or incarceration costs* for those who continue on to become miscreants. Indicting Head Start for failing to educate may be a little short sighted. We need fewer irresponsible teenage mothers and fewer kids who don’t know who their father is. Too many women are opting to work instead of staying home and raising their preschool infants. If they want to work, they should wait til their child is old enough to enter kindergarden instead of paying for child care furnished by others* and commuting costs*. *Do the math.

  5. [...] and funding the DC school choice program. On the other hand, the Obama administration also sat on a study by the Department of Health and Human Services that showed meager impact for children in Head Start. The study was complete and the information [...]

  6. [...] and funding the DC school choice program. On the other hand, the Obama administration also sat on a study by the Department of Health and Human Services that showed meager impact for children in Head Start. The study was complete and the information [...]

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