Head Start, Then, Now

and in the Future







Todd Risley, noted researcher was one of the team that named “time outs”, a tool that parents have been employing as a technique to help them retain their sanity as their children grow. Todd’s major work, along with researcher Betty Hart, was a study that showed convincingly that the more a parent talks to their child, between birth and age three, the larger the child’s vocabulary, and the higher the child’s IQ. Start behind, stay behind.

I recently learned of Todd’s passing in December 2008. As we remember the contributions of Todd I am broadcasting my interview with Todd from December 2006.  The interview was conducted while Todd was home in his beloved Alaska.  Todd told me he was at the end of the power grid, that after his house, technology ended.  He was not far from being correct.  The phone call dropped ten times during the interview and we had to pick up context and continuity on the fly. In the process I learned about his research, his misconceptions about Head Start, and the warmth and good nature of the man himself.  Although the man is gone, his research, if implemented, will help scores of children to have better lives.  Thank you Todd.

Edward Zigler is Director Emeritus of the Edward  Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy at Yale University. He was the youngest member of the planning committee for Head Start and later served as its director. Recently he has been a member of President Obama’s Childhood Transition Team.

Ed speaks to us about the past and the future. We talk about the persistent economic education gap, about charter schools, preschools, early childhood education, and developing integrated educational communities. Arguably there are a few educators in America as well qualified as Edward Zigler to help us chart the direction of American education for the future.

Stan tells of no more Princess’s