Design for a National Evaluation of Social Competence in Head Start Children.

by Senta A. Raizen, Sue Berryman Bobrow, Tora K. Bikson, Jan Butler, Karen A. Heald, J. D. Ratteray

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback450 pages $65.00 $52.00 20% Web Discount

Specifies the design for a national evaluation of the Head Start program but recommends a system of careful studies in preference to a national evaluation. Discusses normative and theoretical problems of defining the criterion variable, "social competence." Longitudinal evaluation of Head Start is not recommended because of inadequacies in child development theory, measurement incomparabilities, sample mortality, and inappropriate expectations for effects of limited social intervention. Evaluating a major social program should take account of the multiple constituencies by allowing local constituents to choose a small number of outcomes and to assign their own priorities to cross-site outcomes. Head Start places important constraints on the technical design; i.e. treatment variations, site, and children characteristics are confounded. Children should be randomly assigned within-site to treatment and control conditions; a less-preferred alternative is one based on growth curves (value-added design). Bases for choosing specific statistical analyses of evaluation data are recommended. A final recommendation is to pilot test the total evaluation. 450 pp. Bibliog.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.