Missing the tally

  1. Gephardt misses tally

    Gephardt, who led the House Democrats before relinquishing his leadership post to run for president, has missed more than 350 votes this year, roughly 90 percent of those taken in the House, according to a Republican count.

    "If you really consider children's issues a priority, you can't miss votes like this," Dean said.

    http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansas...ws/6385739.htm

    Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio (D), has not missed any votes.

    Shouldn't these elected officials be voting, even if they cast a "no" vote.. if something goes wrong with the bill at least they can tell their state that they voted "no" or vice versa. Or they could take some credit for voting "yes".

    Of course the Head Start Bill is Republican backed. The Dems could have rallied together to oppose it if they felt that the interest of the children would be compromised by this bill.

    A Representative is brought in by wheel chair to vote !
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  2. 26 Comments

  3. by   Ted
    It bothers me that Gephart misses so many votes, especially this one. Don't know why any congress person should miss too many votes. It's a problem that's existed for . . . forever, I guess.

    Now, the issue of "fixing" Head Start. I didn't know it was "broken". I was under the impression that Head Start was an effective program. The concerns against this new Republican sponsored bill are valid. Why "fix" something that's not "broke"?



    Yuck. . . .
  4. by   Brownms46
    As one who has worked in Head State, I didn't know it was broke either!
  5. by   Mkue
    "Supporters say the bill would make Head Start more effective by allowing states to coordinate it with their own education efforts. "-from the article
    _____________________________________

    I personally think it's a good idea to allow states more control of their Head Start program.

    Those who oppose it should at least care enough to show up and vote "no".

    Dean said it best: "If you really consider children's issues a priority, you can't miss votes like this."
  6. by   Q.
    Head Start is "broken" because a recent study/article something (wish I had the source with me now) found that students who graduated from Head Start are still ill-prepared for kindgergarten/school than compared to their non Head Start counterparts. Basically - Head Start isn't accomplishing it's stated goal.
  7. by   Q.
    It was a report from Health & Human Services. I don't have the time at the moment to do a full search of HHS website, but here is an excerpt from Fox News a while back:

    While making some progress, Head Start is not doing enough to enhance the language, pre-reading and pre-mathematics knowledge and skills that we know are important for school readiness ... Children continue to lag behind national norms when they exit Head Start," the Health and Human Services Department (search) report reads.

    The report said children who graduated from Head Start-the federal program to help poor children prepare for elementary school-in the year 2000 performed far below the national average in vocabulary, letter recognition, early writing and mathematics.
    Based on this new data, Head Start is indeed broken. Objectives are not being met.
  8. by   Ted
    The people who work for Head Start acknowledge that there's room for improvement. However, Head Start does NOT need the "fix" that the Republican lead bill proposes.

    Head Start apparently is NOT that broken. . .

    The following is a Letter from Sarah Greene, President/CEO of the National Head Start Association.

    ___________________________

    HOUSE HEAD START BILL VOTE STATEMENT FROM SARAH GREENE PRESIDENT/CEO NATIONAL HEAD START ASSOCIATION

    WASHINGTON, D.C.//July 25, 2003//Sarah Green, president and CEO of the National Head Start Association, released the following statement today:

    "The razor-thin one vote margin of the U.S. House vote today on HR 2210 shows that there is no appetite in Washington or anywhere else in this nation for a radical proposal that dismantles the federal government's nearly four-decade-long commitment to getting at-risk children ready to learn through Head Start. We already know that the eight-state pilot program aspect of the U.S. House bill is a complete non-starter in the U.S. Senate, where we have every reason to believe that cooler heads will prevail in determining what is best for the one million low-income children who depend on Head Start in order to get a chance to compete in school and in life.

    What was perhaps most disturbing about the House floor debate was the manner in which proponents of the controversial bill felt that they had to trash the Head Start program, its teachers and its parent/volunteers in order to make their case. This is an outrageously unfair bum rap on some of the hardest working and most dedicated people in the U.S. education system.

    Let me take this opportunity to set the record straight: Head Start works. Nearly nine out of 10 Head Start classrooms reviewed by the federal government get top marks. And the vast majority of the research on Head Start concludes that it does what it is supposed to do. It narrows the gap, improving the school readiness of our nation's most vulnerable children. We need to preserve Head Start's high standards and proven quality, not lower them, as the House measure would have America do.

    Americans should not be taken in by the snake-oil sales pitch that there is something ailing Head Start that needs to be remedied. However, there are things that we can and should do to make Head Start even better, such as providing the funds needed for higher educational standards imposed on Head Start teachers, expanding the program to include the 40 percent of eligible U.S. children who are not covered, and ensuring that the most seriously underserved audiences (i.e., the children of seasonal and migrant workers) get more focus. We can build on the success of the Head Start program without tearing down its outstanding legacy of success.

    The National Head Start Association already has been sought out to work with other groups and help shape, in the Senate, a more constructive and positive approach to Head Start reauthorization. We look forward to being part of the team that frames a constructive -- rather than a destructive -- approach to Head Start's future. The ugly and bruising fight in the U.S. House of Representatives was an unfortunate aberration in what has been nearly four decades of bipartisan support of Head Start. We look forward to working with the U.S. Senate to restore this tone of positive and forward-looking cooperation.

    Special thanks to Congressman Miller and the other members of the House, in both parties, who demonstrated a real understanding of Head Start in opposing this destructive bill. They heard the voices of the thousands of people and organizations who spoke out to save Head Start."


    ABOUT NHSA

    The National Head Start Association is a private not-for-profit membership organization dedicated exclusively to meeting the needs of Head Start children and their families. The Association provides support for the entire Head Start family by advocating for policies that provide high-quality services to children and their families; by providing extensive training and professional development services to all Head Start staff; and by developing and disseminating research, information, and resources that impact Head Start program delivery. NHSA provides a national forum for the continued delivery and enhancement of Head Start services for at-risk children and their families.
    Last edit by Ted on Jul 27, '03
  9. by   Ted
    I just can't trust Bush. . .
    _______________________________

    NHSA: MISLEADING REHASH OF STALE DATA DESIGNED TO CONFUSE ISSUES, REVIVE "DYING" BILL IN U.S. HOUSE

    WASHINGTON, D.C.///June 9, 2003/// An "overview" of attacks on the Head Start program released today by the Bush Administration contains no new data and is yet another in a series of increasingly desperate attempts to breath new life into a controversial U.S. House bill that is in serious trouble on Capitol Hill, according to the National Head Start Association (NHSA), the national organization representing local Head Start program.

    NHSA President Sarah Greene said: "We are disappointed, though not surprised, that the Bush Administration is releasing a highly selective and misleading document that is a stale rehash of convenient slivers of information thrown together in an attempt to confuse unwitting lawmakers long enough to move a bill that, in fact, is in serious trouble in the U.S. House of Representatives. This gross mischaracterization of the data about Head Start is a blatant attempt to advance a political agenda. It is a desperation move. This should be about the kids, not politics. This is bad science and it is yet another slap in the face from the Bush Administration to the tens of thousands of hard-working Head Start instructors and parent/volunteers."

    Greene continued: "Let's talk about the facts. The experts who have looked at the data on Head Start -- including the stale information 'released' today that, in fact, is more than five years old in some cases -- are virtually unanimous in concluding that Head Start works. It gets kids ready for school. They are better able to learn. They stay in school and out of trouble. There is absolutely no research showing that the unproven and untested approach advocated by the White House and Rep. Castle would do as well -- much less better. It is astonishing to me that people would misuse data to tear down a successful program in the hopes that people will miss the fact that they don't have a single shred of evidence that their alternative will work."

    For more information about the extensive research data showing the efficacy of the Head Start program, go to http://www.saveheadstart.org/SHS_white_paper_041403.pdf on the Web.

    In discussing the rehashed-data report, Greene noted:


    Stale data are being misrepresented in the report to suggest that there are current problems in relation to literacy and numeracy that are now improving. Based on new research information and a 1998 Congressional mandate, Head Start shifted in the late 1990s to a greater focus on letters and numbers. Experts have given the program credit for improvement from 1998 and on.


    The Administration document deliberately ignores an obvious fact: Head Start children start out with a learning deficit compared to more affluent children. Head Start has been successful in narrowing the gap that at-risk children bring to the classroom, but it is disingenuous to point out that the narrowed gap still exists. The data shows that the otherwise enormous handicap that America's poorest children would bring to school has been reduced significantly. Head Start kids are much better ready to learn than they otherwise would have been.


    HHS already has the power from Congress to eliminate any barrier to better state-level coordination. Further legislative authority is unnecessary, even though the department has not acted to promulgate regulations to reduce barriers to state coordination. State-level Head Start operations already are fully committed to working with the states. In fact, all of the success stories cited in today's Bush Administration report of state level coordination are happening currently without any open-ended block granting that would destroy the Head Start program as it exists today.

    For comments on Head Start research, NHSA encourages the media to hear from unbiased experts:


    Dr. Edward Zigler, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Psychology and director of the Center in Child Development and Social Policy at Yale University. Professor Zigler is often referred to as the "father of Head Start" due to his leadership role during the Nixon Administration as a member of the National Planning and Steering Committee of Project Head Start. Contact: (203) 432-4576 or edward.zigler@yale.edu.


    Dr. James Elicker, Purdue University professor of child development and former Head Start teacher, education coordinator and state training coordinator. Contact: (765) 494-2938 or elickerj@cfs.purdue.edu. (See unrelated news release below.)


    Dr. Joan Lombardi, former HHS deputy assistant secretary for external affairs, Children and Families. Contact: (202) 364-5162.


    Dr. George L. Askew, founder, Docs For Tots, and past chief, Health and Disabilities Services Branch of the Head Start Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, (202) 638-1144 or gaskew@zerotothree.org.


    Miriam Rollins, federal policy director, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids. Contact: (202) 776-0027, ext. 143.


    Rachel Schumacher, policy analyst, Center for Law and Social Policy. Contact: (202) 906-8005.


    Paul Thornell, director of public policy, United Way of America. Contact: (703) 683-7817.

    ABOUT NHSA

    The National Head Start Association is a private not-for-profit membership organization dedicated exclusively to meeting the needs of Head Start children and their families. The Association provides support for the entire Head Start family by advocating for policies that provide high-quality services to children and their families; by providing extensive training and professional development services to all Head Start staff; and by developing and disseminating research, information, and resources that impact Head Start program delivery. NHSA represents more than 900,000 children and their families, 200,000 staff, 1,900 Head Start programs, and 600 Early Head Start programs in America. NHSA provides a national forum for the continued delivery and enhancement of Head Start services for at-risk children and their families.

    CONTACT: Christine Kraly, NHSA, (703) 276-3258 or ckraly@hastingsgroup.com.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    You may have missed this, which was released earlier today:

    Expert Says Head Start OK As Is

    WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- A Purdue University Head Start researcher says the Congressional movement to change the federal preschool program would do more harm than good.

    "Head Start is not broken, so why make radical and risky changes in its funding and administration?" asks James Elicker, a professor of child development and former Head Start teacher, education coordinator and state training coordinator.

    "There is substantial evidence that Head Start improves the health, school readiness and long-term educational outcomes of low income children, as well as provides needed support and education for their parents. The program has extremely high customer satisfaction ratings, too."

    The Republican plan calls for transferring the funding and administration of Head Start to individual states using a de facto block grant formula.

    "That would be a mistake at this time because administrative costs will undoubtedly increase, states will use the federal funds to replace funds lost in state budget cuts, and the net result will be a decrease in Head Start program quality and a reduction in the total number of poor children served," says Elicker, who is conducting research with three Early Head Start programs in Lafayette, Kokomo and Marion.

    Elicker says that if the states inherit control of the program, it is likely the current comprehensive focus for Head Start will be lost. This change could eliminate critical services, such as early education that teaches children social skills, as well as academic skills, health and dental screenings and treatment, mental health services, parent-education programs and social services.

    "Also, it is a concern that the proposed federal legislation does not strongly mandate states to follow the current national Head Start program performance standards," Elicker says.

    "These performance standards have been the keystone of Head Start's quality and improvements over the past 37 years. If the performance standards are loosened, or if states are able to set their own standards according to changing political whims, Head Start as a high-quality national program for low-income children will soon be dismantled."
  10. by   Mkue
    Some tensions stem from the divide between a conservative administration directing the program from Washington and the many liberals who operate individual centers under government grants. The nonprofit groups that run the programs are closest to Head Start, but they could lose their centers if the Bush plan goes through and states become free to contract with whomever they choose.

    http://www.washtimes.com/national/20...2333-4860r.htm

    Maybe it's a "control" issue, since centers would be able to contact whoever they choose, the nonprofit groups would lose their control.

    Pres Bush stated the system is "working ok" but he wants it better than "ok".
  11. by   Brownms46
    I think it has been stated very well before, but I will say it again! If it's not broken...don't try and fix it! They is MORE than enough things that Bushy boy needs to fix, than trying to his hands in somelthing that is already working!
  12. by   Q.
    Um, ...mmmm'kay.

    Any government funded program that is not meeting it's own objectives needs to be looked at and re-evaluated. It's that simple. Sure, there are different ways to go about fixing it, and I'm not even certain what those different proposals are at the moment, but I DO know that if Head Start isn't even accomplishing what it's supposed to accomplish - uh, well then something needs to be done. I am not comfortable with the mediocre (make that substandard) results that Head Start is putting out. Our kids deserve more than that, do they not? Where's the accountability?

    In my Education department at the hospital, if we don't meet our own stated objectives, we are held accountable.

    I'd say Head Start's got some serious problems. But that's just my opinion I guess.
    Last edit by Susy K on Jul 27, '03
  13. by   Mkue
    http://edworkforce.house.gov/issues/...adinessgap.htm

    Fact sheet from the House Education & the Workforce Committee states that Head Start Children are not learning enough.
  14. by   Ted
    Just visited the site you provided, Mkue. Appreciate you providing the time and energy to find it.

    For all interested, please also read the following:

    Information Proving Head Start is Effective

    It's lengthy. It's also a summery of a number of research studies. It give a convincing account as to why NOT to dismantle Head Start in its current form.

    Also, re-read Post #8 which talks in depth about the movement to dismantle this effect government program.

    Ted
    Last edit by Ted on Jul 28, '03

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