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Dissatisfied with the results of earlier efforts to improve educational outcomes in U.S. schools, the Ford Foundation developed a program called the Collaborating for Education Reform Initiative (CERI) that provided grants to collaboratives of community-based organizations in urban settings as a way to address systemic barriers to high-quality teaching and learning. Eight collaboratives signed on, and, over four years, the RAND Corporation assessed the progress of the program. The authors of this report found that the eight sites made varying degrees of progress and, while none had reached the final outcomes desired, some of the collaboratives offered considerable promise. Although success is far from certain, by adopting such techniques as clear communication of expectations, engaging school staff, and using data to alter strategies as necessary, collaboratives stand a better chance of becoming self-sustaining and positively affecting student learning.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Literature Review, Indicators, and Methodology

  • Chapter Three

    History of CERI Reform

  • Chapter Four

    Progress of Sites

  • Chapter Five

    Themes from CERI

  • Chapter Six

    Conclusions and Observations

  • Appendix A

    Collaborative Context

The research described in this report was conducted by RAND Education for the Ford Foundation.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Monograph series. RAND monographs present major research findings that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND monographs undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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