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Publications

Assessing the Evaluations of Early Childhood Education Programs

Douglas J. Besharov, Peter Germanis, Caeli A. Higney, and Douglas M. Call

September 2011

Interest and investment in early childhood education programs continue to grow, in part because program advocates point to the results of a handful of demonstration programs to show that early education "works." But how scientifically strong are these studies, and what policy and programmatic conclusions should be drawn from them?

In this study, Douglas J. Besharov, Caeli A. Higney, and Douglas M. Call analyze twenty-six of these evaluations, selected mainly for their rigor, but, in some instances, also for their historical significance. In preparation, they collected as much information about each evaluation as they could find. This included identifying all published reports by the principal investigator (PI) and others involved in the evaluation; reports by other researchers who have assessed the evaluation, including those who have conducted additional analyses of the data produced by the evaluation (such as cost-benefit analyses); and also unpublished information from the PIs themselves. Besharov, et al., then prepared assessments of each evaluation using a standard template.

We hope that these assessments will help inform the ongoing debate about the future direction of early childhood programs. In that spirit, each assessment has a "comments" section where readers can add their own views about the evaluation and the assessment of it. (All comments will be published, subject to the guidelines found here.)

In addition, those wishing to reach the authors can write to: welfareacademy@umd.edu

We value all participation.

Thank you.

* Chapter 1 - Introduction
* (not yet available)

* Chapter 2 - The Abecedarian Project
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* Chapter 3 - Chicago Child-Parent Center (CPC)
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* Chapter 4 - Comprehensive Child Development Program (CCDP)
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* Chapter 5 - Consortium For Longitudinal Studies
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* Chapter 6 - Currie/Thomas Econometric Studies
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* Chapter 7 - Early Head Start - Research and Evaluation Project
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* Chapter 8 - Early Reading First
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* Chapter 9 - Early Training Project
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* Chapter 10 - Even Start Family Literacy Program (1st National Evaluation)
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* Chapter 11 - Even Start Family Literacy Program (3rd National Evaluation)
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* Chapter 12 - Five-State Pre-K Evaluation
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* Chapter 13 - Head Start Summer Program (1965)
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* Chapter 14 - Head Start Evaluation, Synthesis and Utilization Project
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* Chapter 15 - Head Start Impact Study
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* Chapter 16 - The High/Scope Perry Preschool Project
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* Chapter 17 - Houston Parent Child Development Center
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* Chapter 18 - Infant Health and Development Program
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* Chapter 19 - Ludwig and Miller
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* Chapter 20 - The Milwaukee Project
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* Chapter 21 - Nurse Family Partnership (Elmira)
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* Chapter 22 - Nurse Family Partnership (Memphis)
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* Chapter 23 - Nurse Family Partnership (Denver)
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* Chapter 24 - Oklahoma's Universal Pre-Kindergarten
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* Chapter 25 - Project Giant Step
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* Chapter 26 - Syracuse Family Development Research Program
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* Chapter 27 - Westinghouse Learning Center/Ohio University Report on Head Start
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