Cover: Does Head Start Help Hispanic Children?

Does Head Start Help Hispanic Children?

Published 2000

by Janet Currie, Duncan Thomas

Purchase Print Copy

Add to Cart Paperback28 pages Free

Poor educational attainment is a persistent problem among U.S. Hispanic children, relative to non-Hispanics. Many of these children are immigrants and /or come from households that use a minority language in the home This paper examines the effects of participation in a government sponsored preschool program called Head Start on these children. The authors find that large and significant benefits accrue to Head Start children when we compare them to siblings who did not participate in the program. On average, Head Start closes at least 1/4 of the gap in test scores between Hispanic children and non-Hispanic white children, and 2/3 of the gap in the probability of grade repetition. However, the authors find that the benefits of Head Start are not evenly distributed across sub-groups.

Originally published in: Journal of Public Economics, v. 74, no. 2, 1999, pp. 235-262.

This report is part of the RAND reprint series. The Reprint was a product of RAND from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND 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.