Toward a New Cognitive Effects Battery for Project Head Start.

by Jan Butler

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Discusses positions that might be taken to demonstrate the success of cognitive effects in Project Head Start: that some kinds of programs must achieve sizable effects; that there must be great benefits for some groups of children; or that cognitive effects need only be demonstrated as a moderator variable--cognitive goals are not the principal outcomes to be evaluated. A small-scale, well-controlled study of program prototypes would be most effective with true randomization of children to programs, clear definitions of program prototypes, and sufficient controls. Outcomes might be emphasized in health and nutrition, social development, or the effects of Project Head Start on the family. At present there is no battery of face-valid, empirically based, criterion-referenced instruments to measure short-term effects. Choice of measures is integrally related to choice of evaluation design. Past evaluations tried to investigate too much, throwing even elementary conclusions into doubt. 82 pp. Bibliog.

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