President Obama announced new standards today to strengthen the Head Start program. Speaking to students and teachers at the Yeadon Regional Head Start Center in Pennsylvania, the President explained how the changes will benefit students by bringing more accountability to the program:
Under the old rules governing Head Start, there just wasn’t enough accountability. If a program wasn’t providing kids with quality services, there was no incentive to improve. Under the new rule, programs are going to be regularly evaluated against a set of clear, high standards. If a program meets these standards—and we believe the majority of Head Start programs will—then its grants will be renewed. But if a program isn’t giving children the support they need to be ready for school, if classrooms are unsafe, if finances aren’t in order, if kids aren’t learning what they need to learn, then other organizations will be able compete for that grant. We’re not just going to put money into programs that don’t work. We will take money and put them into programs that do.
This is the first time in history that Head Start programs will be truly held accountable for performance in the classroom, and we know that raising the bar isn’t always an easy thing to do. But it’s the right thing to do. Children in Head Start deserve the best services we have to offer, and we know that Head Start programs can meet this challenge.
President Obama isn’t waiting on Congress to improve education standards in our schools—learn more about the steps the President is taking to support veterans, homeowners, and students right now.