Education: Result of a Test: F

Once it seemed like an imaginative new way to overcome the faults of inferior schools. Instead of relying on standard teachers and standard routines, a community could sign a contract with outside specialists who would be paid only if they improved the students' learning. More than 30 cities have experimented with "performance contracting," and one poll showed that two-thirds of the nation's school-board members were interested in trying it (TIME, Oct. 11).

The Office of Economic Opportunity decided to organize a major study of performance contracting during the 1970-71 school year. It authorized up to $7.2 million for the project, spread among...

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