Interview with Sandra Feldman

OK so, so then when, when did the, the teachers begin to lose faith in the experiment? What was the event? Or, or what, what happened to make them lose, lose faith?


Well there were a number of things that happened. First you know, the Ford Foundation was very involved in all of the discussions that were taking place. And there was an implicit promise of resources. And we had talked about every school being a more effective school which was a program that was, ah, in place at that time in a few schools which is a wonderful saturation program for kids, it had smaller classes, it had support services, ah, and we had, we, the parents and the teachers in the experiment, in the discussions, had agreed that if we were going to make a difference it wasn't just a question of having a governing board. It was a question of being able to provide the kind of resources. We saw our coalition as a coalition which was going to enable us to get r- resources for the kids into the schools. And there was a point at which we were quite far along in, in all of the discussion of arrangements, ah, when the Ford Foundation said, "No, there isn't going to be any extra money here. We want to show that just the involvement itself is going to make a difference." And everybody got very worried about that because, ah, involvement is fine, it's important, but these were schools in tremendous need. These were schools that had great shortages of supplies, of reso- of textbooks, ah, that needed smaller class size, that had, ah, kids who needed services--