Head Start Manipulating Scumbags

December 20, 2012

I’ve heard that the latest round of results from the federal evaluation of Head Start is due to be released tomorrow afternoon.  And my psychic powers tell me that the results will show no lasting benefit from Head Start, just like the two previous rounds of results.

You heard that right — the federal government is releasing results that the administration dislikes on a Friday afternoon just before Christmas.  They might as well put the results on display in a locked filing cabinet in a disused lavatory behind the sign that says “beware of the leopard.”

Why is the Department of Health and Human Services burying this study just like they delayed, buried, or distorted the previous ones?  Well, because the study is an extremely rigorous and comprehensive evaluation, involving random assignment of a representative sample of all Head Start students nationwide, that I expect will find no enduring benefits from this program that politicians, pundits, and other dimwits constantly want to expand and fund.  Anyone who casts doubt on think tank research should cast a critical eye toward gross manipulations and abuse of research that are perpetrated by the federal government.

I should repeat that the researchers have done an excellent job evaluating Head Start in this case.  It is the bureaucratic class at the Department of Health and Human Services who have cynically manipulated, delayed, and misreported this research.  The pending report is already delayed several years and has been around for a long time.  The decision to release it on the Friday afternoon before Christmas is completely calculated.

I don’t know your names, but I’m going to invest a little energy in tracking down who is responsible for this cynical abuse of research.  If there were any reporters worth their salt left out there, they would bother to expose you but I guess that job has now been passed to bloggers and enterprising individuals.  When I do find your names I will post them so folks can know who the scumbags are who think they can manipulate the policy community by delaying, burying, or misreporting research.  And then when you get hired by that DC think tank, advocacy organization, or other waste of space we’ll be able to remember who you are and assign no credibility to what you have to say.  These kinds of dastardly acts by public servants should not be cost free and if I have any say in the matter they will not be in this case.

The Silence of the Lame

January 22, 2010

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

Dan Lips on the mainstream media and the head start evaluation. Money quote:

When a Congressionally-mandated study released in 2008 found that President Bush’s favorite reading program was a failure, it was national news.  An article by Greg Toppo in the USA Today blared the headline “Study: Bush’s Reading First Program Ineffective” and reported that the results could be a “knockout punch” for the program.  Similar articles appeared in the New York Times (by Sam Dillon) and Washington Post (by Maria Glod).

But when a similarly devastating report was published last week that undercuts a pillar of President Obama’s education plans, none of these papers has bothered to report it.   As we have reported, the Department of Health and Human Services finally released the results of a national evaluation of the Head Start program that Congress mandated in the late 1990s.