Project Follow Through

Project Follow Through was the largest and most expensive experiment in education funded by the U.S. federal government that has ever been conducted. The most extensive evaluation of Follow Through data covers the years 1968-1977; however, the program continued to receive funding from the government until 1995 (Egbert, 1981, p. 7). Follow Through was originally intended to be an extension of the federal Head Start program, which delivered educational, health, and social services to typically disadvantaged preschool children and their families. The function of Follow Through, therefore, was to provide a continuation of these services to students in their early elementary years.

In President Lyndon B. Johnson's 1967 state of the union address, he proposed $120 million for the program, to serve approximately 200,000 children from disadvantaged backgrounds. However, when funding for the project was approved by the United States Congress, a fraction of that amount, merely $15 million —was authorized. This necessitated a change in strategy by the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), the government agency charged with oversight of the program (Egbert, 1981, pp. 3–4; Stebbins, et al., 1977, p. 2; Watkins, 1997, p. 4). Instead, program administrators made the "brilliant decision… (to) convert Follow Through from a service program to a research and development program" (Evans, 1981, p. 5).

Follow Through planners felt that they were responding to an important challenge in the education of disadvantaged students. It was generally hypothesized that the mere provision of specific supports in the form of federal compensatory programs - such as Head Start and Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act - would result in increased academic achievement for disadvantaged children, if implemented faithfully by committed teachers. However, studies had shown that despite its successes, in general any gains that children made from Head Start (in measures of academic achievement) "faded out" during the first few years of elementary school (Maccoby & Zellner, 1970, p. 4; Stebbins, et al., 1977, p. 1). It was unclear to policy makers and others if the elementary school experience itself caused this phenomenon, or if specific approaches to instruction within schools were the problem. Follow Through intended to solve the problem by literally identifying what whole-school approaches to curriculum and instruction worked, and what did not. Subsequently, effective models were to be promulgated by the government as exemplars of innovative and proven methods of raising the academic achievement of historically disadvantaged students.

Read more about Project Follow Through:  The Sociopolitical Context of Follow Through, Planned Variation, Goals, Program Administration, Debates About Purpose, Sponsors and Models, Selection of Follow Through Communities, Measurement Instruments and Analytical Methods, Analytical Methods, Follow Through Results, Critiques, Dissemination of Results, Operational and Design Issues, Political and Philosophical Issues

Other articles related to "project follow through, follow through, project, projects":

Project Follow Through - Political and Philosophical Issues
... Was Follow Through a social or scientific program? An inevitable conflict exists when one attempts to operationalize a federal program in education that possesses ... There is much evidence that indicates confusion about the intent of the Follow Through evaluation at the administrative level (Maccoby Zellner, 1970, p ... The planned variation aspect of Follow Through was thought to be beneficial—perhaps superior—to other forms of experimentation (e.g ...
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Joseph Kittinger
... He is most famous for his participation in Project Manhigh and Project Excelsior, in 1960 setting the record longest skydive, from a height greater than 31 kilometres (19 mi) ... In 2012, at the age of 84, he participated in the Red Bull Stratos project as capsule communicator, directing Felix Baumgartner on his record-breaking 39 ...
Robert Lenkiewicz - Vagrancy Project
... The Vagrancy Project consisted of several dozen paintings of vagrants and a large book of notes written by the dossers themselves and those involved in ... The format of the 'Project' – combining thematically linked paintings with the publication of research notes and the collected observations of the sitters – was to be used consistently ... Projects such as Mental Handicap (1976), Old Age (1979) and Death (1982) followed the one on vagrancy as Lenkiewicz continued to examine the lives of ostracised, hidden sections of the community and bring them ...

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