Reviews the activities and lessons of Ford's thirteen-year initiative to help communities realize changes in schools through constituency- and coalition-building, policy research and evaluation, strategic communication, and networking.
- Successful Strategy: Organizations that were part of CBPSR were shown to benefit from strategic communications training and assistance, research and data analysis, and networking.
- Successful Strategy: Collaborating with other donors improves the effectiveness of both organizations and donors.
- Observation: Public schools will not show lasting improvements unless low-income and minority populations understand the choices involved in school reform and acquire a strong voice in making decisions.
- Observation: Successful reform depends on well-informed and inclusive coalitions capable of mobilizing a broad cross sector of the community; only an engaged public can generate the political energy to initiate and sustain reform and hold public officials accountable.
- Observation: Donors seeking to build civic capacity on education issues should target organizations possessing capacities such as a committed leadership and dedicated staff and boards or help promising organizations to develop them.