Ellsworth, Jeanne and Ames, Lynda J. (Eds.) (1998). Critical Perspectives on Project Head Start: Revisioning the Hope and Challenge. New York: State University of New York Press

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With more than three decades of implementation of this popular War on Poverty effort, the editors of this critical collection readily admit that an extensive body of research and evaluation already exists regarding Project Head Start. However, Ellsworth and Ames also indicate that the majority of this research has tended to focus on outcomes, "most often measuring and charting quantifiable changes in children." (p. ix) This collection of writings, by contrast, takes a more qualitative approach to analyzing the strengths and failings of one of the most popular governmental efforts in recent history. Comprised of fourteen chapters, the book draws on a variety of sources in an apparent attempt to analyze the value of the overall project, identifying areas in which the program needs to be improved or revitalized, while at the same time celebrating the positive results of the effort. It is obvious throughout the text that the various authors do indeed believe in the value of Project Head Start. These same authors, however, do not view the program through the proverbial "rose-colored glasses;" in almost every case strongly grounded examination of the failings of Head Start is evident.


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