Research Connections Announces Summer Workshop on Head Start Data

Child Care & Early Education Research Connections will present a free summer data workshop titled "Maximizing the Head Start Impact Study: New Third Grade Follow-Up Data, Contextual Variables, and Approaches to Understanding Variation in Impacts" on July 16-18, 2014, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The Head Start Impact Study (HSIS) is a large, longitudinal, nationally representative study of the Head Start Population, aimed at determining how Head Start affects their school readiness. Join us for a fresh look at this significant dataset, including discussion of new methodology for better understanding impacts, and new variables that allow for contextual analysis and follow-up of children through third grade. Participants will have time to work on-site with all of the available data, with the instructors providing guidance and support.

Head Start Impact Study and the Third Grade Follow-up to the Head Start Impact Study

Dr. Camilla Heid, Westat, and Ms. Ronna Cook, Ronna Cook Associates, will lead a session providing an overview of the study purpose, methods, and key findings for the HSIS and the subsequent Third Grade Follow-up. The presentation will include a discussion of the sample selection, random assignment, instruments, analysis, basic weights, data files, and tips for using the datasets.

New Analysis Method: Impact Variation

Dr. Christina Weiland, University of Michigan, will lead a session on detecting and quantifying variation in the effects of assignment to Head Start. She will cover the conceptual framework and statistical principles behind this new and evolving methodology. Dr. Weiland also will present findings on variation in the impacts of Head Start assignment.

Added Variables: Neighborhood Data

Dr. Dana McCoy, Harvard University, and Ms. Maia Connors, NYU, will lead a session on the new publicly available neighborhood data associated with the HSIS. This session will cover the origins of the neighborhood data, descriptions of key variables, and tips for matching the data with centers and center groups. The instructors will also present their own work as examples of how the neighborhood data can be applied.

Tips and Tricks

Dr. Christina Weiland, Dr. Dana McCoy, and Maia Connors will lead a session on tips, tricks, and lessons learned in using the HSIS data. This session will deepen participants' understanding of particularly challenging and complex aspects of these data. The session will cover a variety of topics including decisions regarding the use of sampling weights, measures of classroom quality, and choosing among similar variables. Participants will have the opportunity to explore some of these issues and familiarize themselves with the data in hands-on practice sessions.

Participants are expected to have a basic understanding of secondary data, fundamental data analysis skills including multi-level modeling, knowledge of SPSS, SAS, or Stata, and a substantive interest in early care and education. Please include in your cover letter a description of any prior experience with the HSIS. The workshop is free, but enrollment is limited. Researchers interested in using this dataset to answer policy relevant questions in child development and early care and education are encouraged to apply. All applications must include a vita and cover letter summarizing research interests and experiences. Admitted graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, and junior faculty/researchers will be considered for one of a limited number of stipends to help with travel and housing costs. To be considered for one of these awards, applicants must also submit a letter of support from a senior faculty member, mentor, or advisor.

Application deadline: May 30, 2014
Workshop date: July 16-18, 2014
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan:
Applications are competitive. A limited number of stipends will be awarded to help with travel and housing costs.

For more information or to apply, please visit the course page: (

Apr 25, 2014

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