Well, based on this August 20th New York Times op-ed by former Times magazine senior editor Paul Tough, liberals no longer care:
Head Start, which provides preschool programs to poor families, is a prime example of the Senate committee’s true attitude toward evidence-based decision-making. In January, the Health and Human Services Department released a study of Head Start’s overall impact. The conclusions were disturbing. By the end of first grade, the study found, Head Start graduates were doing no better than students who didn’t attend Head Start. "No significant impacts were found for math skills, pre-writing, children’s promotion, or teacher report of children’s school accomplishments or abilities in any year," the report concluded.Got that?--a study showing wasted spending is evidence favoring funding further un-verified programs.
And how did the Senate panel react to this dismal evidence? They set aside $8.2 billion for Head Start in 2011, almost a billion dollars more than in 2010. Of course, the fact that Congress spends billions of dollars each year on unproven programs does not itself argue that the government should start spending hundreds of millions of new dollars on new unproven programs. But it does undercut the argument that federal education dollars should be reserved only for conclusively proven initiatives.
I reported on the Head Start study here. I just never imagined it could be inverted to justify increased government spending. Must be the new "science" of "fiscal discipline."
(via Maggie's Farm via Samizdata)