Head Start: Curriculum Use and Individual Child Assessment in Cognitive and Language Development

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A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "To enhance Head Start's contribution to the school readiness of children from low-income families, the 1998 amendments to the Head Start Act provided for updating the Head Start performance standards to ensure that when children leave the program, they have the basic skills needed to start school. Head Start's performance standards for education and early childhood development require that the programs' curricula support each child's cognitive and language development, including emergent literacy skills. In preschool children, cognitive and language development refers to the fundamental abilities needed ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. September 12, 2003.

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Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "To enhance Head Start's contribution to the school readiness of children from low-income families, the 1998 amendments to the Head Start Act provided for updating the Head Start performance standards to ensure that when children leave the program, they have the basic skills needed to start school. Head Start's performance standards for education and early childhood development require that the programs' curricula support each child's cognitive and language development, including emergent literacy skills. In preschool children, cognitive and language development refers to the fundamental abilities needed to reason and to speak a language. Skills in emergent literacy are the precursors to reading, such as learning the letters of the alphabet. The curriculum Head Start programs use must meet the definition for a written curriculum in Head Start's performance standards. Programs have the option of developing their own curriculum, using a curriculum developed locally or by the state education agency, and adopting or adapting a model developed by an educational publisher. Programs also may use teacher mentoring and individual child assessment to help implement the curriculum. As reauthorization of Head Start approached, Congress asked us to answer questions about Head Start programs' efforts to prepare children for school: (1) to what extent have Head Start programs made progress in meeting performance standards for cognitive and language development since they took effect in January 1998? (2) to what extent has local Head Start programs' use of curricula changed since the performance standards for children's cognitive and language development were issued? (3) to what extent have local Head Start programs used teacher mentoring and individual child assessments to support curriculum planning?"

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • September 12, 2003

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Head Start: Curriculum Use and Individual Child Assessment in Cognitive and Language Development, report, September 12, 2003; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc292075/: accessed October 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.