Sen. Murkowski's Education Newsletter for the week of January 11, 2010

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Head Start Impact Study

Nome Elementary

Sen. Murkowski with Josie Burton's 4th Grade Class in Nome, Alaska.

Murkowski with Secretary Duncan

Lisa "tells it like it is" to Education Secretary Duncan in Anchorage.

LAM @ Bear Valley Elementary

Senator Murkowski tells stories with Bear Valley Elementary students in Anchorage.

Galena Interior Learning Academy

Sen. Murkowski with students of Galena Interior Learning Academy

The Administration of Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the Head Start Impact Study this week.  Required by Congress through the 1998 reauthorization of the Head Start program, the study reviewed:

  • What difference does Head Start make to key outcomes of development and learning (and in particular, the multiple domains of school readiness) for low-income children;
  • What difference does Head Start make to parental practices that contribute to children's school readiness;
  • Under what circumstances does Head Start achieve the greatest impact;
  • What works for which children; and
  • What Head Start services are most related to impact.

Three and four year old children enrolled in Head Start programs in 2002, as compared to the same age students not enrolled in Head Start were studied as separate cohorts.  Briefly, the study found that, "Providing access to Head Start has a positive impact on children's preschool experiences.  There are statistically significant differences between the Head Start group and the control group on every measure of children's preschool experiences measured in this study."  The study also found that, "However, the advantages children gained during their Head Start and age 4 years yielded only a few statistically significant differences in outcomes at the end of 1st grade for the sample as a whole." 

The full report, an executive summary, technical report, and impact tables can be found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/hs/impact_study/index.html

Best Buy Scholarships

Senator Murkowski forwarded information that Best Buy is now accepting applications from students in grades 9-12 for their college scholarship program.  A summary of that information is as follows:

Scholarships are available to students in grades 9-12 who will enter college upon high school graduation.  This year the program will award scholarships to students in grades 9-12 living in the U.S. or Puerto Rico who plan to enter a full-time undergraduate course of study upon high school graduation.  A total of 1,000 students will each receive a $1,000 scholarship, which adds up to $1 million.  

Scholarship recipients are selected based on academic achievement and community service and/or work experience and must be entering an accredited U.S. university, college or technical school in the fall immediately after graduation.  Progress of recipients in grades 9-11 will be tracked by the program administrator, Scholarship America, and awards provided upon high school graduation and enrollment in post-secondary education.

How To Apply:

  • Applications may be submitted online at www.at15.com.
  • The deadline for application submission is February 15, 2010. There are no extensions.

The Best Buy @15 Scholarship program is part of the Best Buy Children's Foundation and is administered by Scholarship America.  Recipients will be notified by Scholarship America in May 2010 and their names will also be posted on BestBuy.com/scholarships.  For additional information or questions on our @15 program see www.at15.com.