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A Foundation Goes to School

A Foundation Goes to School


BRIEF NOTES A Foundation Goes to School T he Ford Foundation's Comprehensive School Improvement Program (CSIP) of the 1960's was one of the largest, if not the largest, privately supported effort to improve education in the public schools of the United States. Under the CSIP the Foundation granted a total of $30 million to 25 projects in suburban, rural, and urban public school systems throughout the country. An independent assessment of CSIP commissioned by the Foundation to a small study team directed by Paul Nachtigal of Colorado is reported in "A Foundation Goes to School." Conceptualized in the late 1950's the program was designed initially to introduce teaching and curricular innovations by establishing "lighthouse" programs in "select" school districts. By the mid-1960's CSIP funding shifted toward schools with large concentrations of low income minority and other disadvantaged students and on financially poor school districts (although parallel Foundation programs did support urban compensatory education projects early in the decade). In general, the report is critical of the outcomes of the program. In many instances the innovations that had been implemented were no longer in use. But as Edward E. Meade, Jr., officer in charge of public education at the
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