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The Birth of Head Start: Preschool Education Policies in the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations.

THE BIRTH OF HEAD START: Preschool Education Policies in the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations. Maris A. Vinovskis. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2005. 205 pp. Hardback, $29.00. More than 25 million children in the United States have benefited from Head Start, which began during the days of President Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society programs and his War on Poverty. Vinovskis offers a very informative analysis of the origin of Head Start, set in a broad historical context. It encompasses a discussion on poverty and the perspectives of early childhood and the development of experimental preschool programs. It is written by an experienced professor of history and a member of the faculty of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and the Institute for Social Research. This book will be of interest to anyone seeking background knowledge on the War on Poverty and how the Head Start Project began, and how it has remained funded for such an extended length of time.

This book takes a look at the four decades of Head Start and the role that Congress has played in providing equal educational opportunities for children from disadvantaged households. Unfortunately, according to Vinovskis, "limited progress has been made in closing the gap between children from disadvantaged households and those living in more fortunate circumstances." As the United States struggles to fund projects and continues to study which initiatives should receive priority, a book such as this one highlights why it is important to consider the impact that Head Start has had on the lives of thousands of families. It is a long legacy that has been well researched and continues to affect the lives of many. Reviewed by Sandra L. Manrique-Pardo, Curriculum Specialist, Miami-Dade County Head Start, Miami, FL
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Author:Manrique-Pardo, Sandra L.
Publication:Childhood Education
Article Type:Book review
Date:Mar 22, 2006
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