Statement on Duncan, et al paper View Statement

Following a misleading article naming “fadeout” as a disqualifier to high-quality early childhood education programs, Professor Heckman wrote a letter to the editor in The Washington Post to dispel the myth of fadeout by citing the overwhelming research and factual evidence to the contrary. Read the full statement below. A new study, Persistence and Fadeout…

Getting our heads around Head Start View Statement

There has been much talk about Head Start and its effectiveness after President Obama recently proposed a comprehensive national plan for early childhood development. Opponents of the plan claim the National Head Start Impact Study (NHSIS), released in December 2012, shows that government investment in early childhood development is ineffective—a generalized conclusion that is neither…

Early Childhood Education: Making Sense of All the Research. View Statement

Tulsa, Tennessee, Quebec—we’ve seen a number of new studies on the effectiveness of early childhood education. Some say it works, others say it doesn’t. Professor Heckman and his co-authors Sneha Elango, Jorge Luis Garcia and Andres Hojman provide clarity in Early Childhood Education, a new working paper that makes sense of a number of seemly…

Quality Early Childhood Education: Enduring Benefits. View Statement

This article first appeared in The Hechinger Report on October 15, 2015. Disadvantaged children who receive quality early childhood development have much better education, employment, social and health outcomes as adults, the vast majority of research shows. Unfortunately, this good news is getting lost in the current obsession over third-grade test scores. This is the…

Vanderbilt Pre-K Study: You get what you pay for View Statement

Vanderbilt University’s study of Tennessee’s Voluntary Preschool Program evaluates a low quality early childhood program using a flawed methodology. Randomization was corrupted by noncompliance with the intended experimental protocol. The press release accompanying the report exaggerates the importance of the findings and the quality of the evidence. Many students assigned to treatment refused to cooperate and the  investigators…

Lessons from Sesame Street View Statement

A recent study, Early Childhood Education by MOOC: Lessons from Sesame Street by Melissa Kearney and Phillip Levine, has been generating interest and, unfortunately, generalized comparisons with other early childhood programs. As noted by the authors, the study looks at the effects of access to Sesame Street, not at the value of Sesame Street versus…

Professor Heckman on the State of the Union Address View Statement

Professor Heckman issued the following statement in response to the State of the Union address on January 28, 2014. “It’s heartening to see that for two years early childhood education has been a prominent part of the President’s policy proposals. There is a strong body of evidence that shows early childhood education has great value for…

Professor Heckman Applauds Early Childhood Education Bill Introduction View Statement

Professor Heckman issued the following statement today in response to the introduction of the bipartisan Strong Start for America’s Children Act. “The Strong Start for America’s Children Act is an important step in the right direction in building our nation’s economic future. Human capital is a critical part of our nation’s infrastructure. Quality birth-to-five early childhood education for disadvantaged…

Letter to the Budget Conference Committee View Statement

In October 2013, Professor Heckman sent a letter to the congressional conference committee tasked with negotiating a budget deal by mid-December, urging the conferees to consider smart investments in early childhood development programs as part of their budget plan. He attached a letter he sent in the fall of 2011 to the Joint Select Committee…