Our History

Rich history. Bright future.

Built by visionary leaders dedicated to the long view, HighScope has a deep history of working to ensure that all children have the best chance at lifelong success.

Years in the Making

Starting with a research study in 1962 following 123 black children born in poverty and at high risk of school failure, the trajectory of early childhood education was changed forever.

Under the visionary research guidance of psychologist David Weikart, and with the extraordinary dedication of Perry Elementary School principal Charles Eugene Beatty, the Perry Preschool Study began in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The study continued under Dr. Weikart’s leadership when he established the HighScope Educational Research Foundation in 1970. The name “HighScope” refers to the organization’s high purposes and far-reaching mission.

Our groundbreaking studies have informed early childhood curricula, research, standards, and policies nationally and worldwide. Our approach to learning keeps children at the center — changing the trajectory of the world, one child at a time, but never forgetting the 123 children who started our mission.
Dr. Weikart retired from HighScope in December 2000. Cheryl Polk, PhD, is the current President of HighScope.

HighScope’s main offices are located in the historic “Hutchinson House,” of S & H Green Stamp fame, in Ypsilanti.