Head Start, a federally funded preschool program for low-income families, works to nurture the children academically, socially, and nutritionally. In the past couple of years social critics and the federal government have begun questioning the efforts of Head Start, arguing that the children in the program do not progress enough in academic areas for the money spent on them. Heartland Head Start, the local chapter which manages thirteen preschool classrooms and 325-330 children annually, is mandated by the federal government to observe and test the children three times per year on multiple indicators to monitor their academic progress. This study, in collaboration with Heartland Head Start, evaluated their program using data collected over the years of 2002-2003, 2003-2004, and the fall of 2004. The data were used to evaluate the academic progress of the children between the different years and within the 2003-2004 year, and to review the effect of the children's native language and age on their progress in the 2003-2004 year. An analysis of the data highlighted the academic areas where the children excelled and the areas that were still problematic for them.



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