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The first performance contract, in Texarkana in 1969-70, set the pattern for most subsequent performance contracts. Charles Blaschke and Leon Lessinger, who were instrumental in establishing the Texarkana project, have become central figures in the performance contract and accountability movements. Anyone thinking about implementing a performance contract should review the Texarkana experience:

The contract document itself, and several related documents,
may be found in any of the following:

Leon Lessinger. Every Kid a Winner-Accountability
ucation. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1970.
Polly Carpenter, A. W. Chalfant, and George R. Hall. Case
Studies in Educational Performance Contracting, #3. Santa
Monica, Calif.: Rand Corporation, 1971.
Education Turnkey Systems. Performance Contracting in
Education: The Guaranteed Student Performance Approach
to Public School Reform. Champaign, III.: Research
Press, 1970.


The Rand Corporation study (above) is the best retrospective
study of the Texarkana project, but it lacks the immediacy of
three contemporary reports:

Stanley Elam. “The Age of Accountability Dawns in Tex-
arkana.” Phi Delta Kappan, June 1970. pp. 509-14.
Richard Bumstead. "Texarkana: The First Accounting."
Educate, March 1970. pp. 24-37.

"Performance Contracting." Educate, October 1970. pp. 15-27.

Elam's perception of the Texarkana project is cautiously optimistic, while Bumstead probed deftly into some of the project's weaknesses and difficulties.

The official version of the project was recorded in

D. C. Andrew and L. H. Roberts. Final Evaluation on the
Texarkana Dropout Prevention Program. Magnolia, Ark.:
Region VIII Education Service Center, July 20, 1970.
(ERIC # ED 044 466)


Leon Lessinger and Charles Blaschke have devoted more attention to the procedures and implications of performance contracting than have any other writers.

After he designed the Texarkana project, Blaschke in 1969


brmed Education Turnkey Systems, Inc., a management sup-
port group that not only produced a book (see above) but
iso an invaluable newsletter:
Education Turnkey News. Washington, D.C.: Education
Turnkey Systems, April 1970-March 1971. Since October
1971 a monthly column entitled “Performance Contract-
ing” has appeared in Nation's Schools.
n these publications one finds not only a contemporary history

performance contracting but also Blaschke's evolving
houghts about the methods and the ramifications of perfor-
tance contracting. In lieu of the newsletters, one might seek
ne of these three summations of his experience:
Charles Blaschke. “From Gold Stars to Green Stamps."
Nation's Schools, September 1971. pp. 51-55.

"Performance Contracts.Planned Change in Education. (Edited by David S. Bushnell and Donald Rappapert.) New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1971. pp. 127-41.

Performance Contracting: Who Profits Most? Bloomington, Ind.: Phi Delta, Kappa, 1972. i his writings, former Associate Commissioner of Education eon Lessinger has emphasized the accountability implications I performance contracting. His book, Every Kid a Winner above), stressed Texarkana and performance contracting. Two I his later books de-emphasize Texarkana and performance ontracting: Leon Lessinger and Ralph W. Tyler. Accountability in Education. Worthington, Ohio: Charles A. Jones, 1971. Leon Lessinger, Dale Parnell, and Roger Kaufman. Accountability: Policies and Procedures. New London, Conn.: Croft Educational Services, 1971. 4 vols. essinger has published more than a dozen articles. Here are tree that are recommended for their comprehensiveness: Leon Lessinger. “After Texarkana, What?" Nation's Schools, December 1969. pp. 37-40.

"The Powerful Notion of Accountability in Education.” Journal of Secondary Education, December 1970. pp. 339-47.

"Engineering Accountability for Results in Public Education.' Phi Delta Kappan, December 1970. pp. 217-25. (Reprinted in Accountability in Education above.) essinger was special issue editor of the January 1971 ational Technology, which featured several theoretical and ical discussions of the how and why of performance contracts.


During 1970-71, the nation's most publicized and controvers performance contract was negotiated for the Banneker Elementa School in Gary, Indiana, where a private corporation contracted operate an entire public school for four years. Most all of the co flicts that might erupt during a performance contract have occurri at Banneker. The history of Banneker will be instructive for anyo wishing to consider entering a performance contract:


The contract document itself, several related documents, ai the most comprehensive history of the first year at Bannek are found in

George R. Hall and M. L. Rapp. Case Studies in Educatio
al Performance Contracting, # 4. Santa Monica, Calif.: Rai

Corporation, 1971.
Historical perspective on the project can be found in-

James A. Mecklenburger and John A. Wilson. “The Pe
formance Contract in Gary.” Phi Delta Kappan, Mari
1971. pp. 406-10.
Betty Miles. "Banneker at the Half-Way Mark.” Scholas

Teacher, March 1972. pp. 16-19.
Positive, skeptical, and negative descriptions of the proje
are found, respectively, in

Jack Star. "We'll Educate Your Kids-Or Your Mon
Back.” Look, June 15, 1971.
Bel Kaufman. "Will This Boy's Curriculum Manager D
serve an Apple This Year?" Today's Health, Septemb
1971. pp. 20-23.
The American Teacher. “The Banneker School Boondo
gle” and “Performance Contracting Revisited.” The Ame

ican Teacher, January 1972. pp. 15-16.
A film, Readin', Ritin', 'Rithmetic, Inc., produced for NET's Bla
Journal early in the winter of 1972, is available from several fi
libraries. It emphasizes the conflict surrounding the project


From the perspective of the school system's administration, ti most successful performance contract site in the early experime tation was probably Grand Rapids, Michigan, where three coi panies held contracts during 1970-71. There was little conflict controversy, results proved satisfactory, and the three compani renewed and expanded their contracts in 1971-72.

Contract documents and a comprehensive history of 1970are to be found in

G. C. Sumner. Case Studies in Educational Performanı


Contracting, #6. Santa Monica, Calif.: Rand Corporation,

The flavor and implications of the Grand Rapids contracts are
to be found in-

James A. Mecklenburger and John A. Wilson. "The Per-
formance Contracts in Grand Rapids.” Phi Delta Kappan,
June 1971. pp. 590-93.
Bernard Asbell. "Should Private Enterprise Direct Your

Child's Education?Redbook, February 1972. pp. 56-63.
A film, Performance Contracting The Grand Rapids Ex-
perience, produced by the Indiana University Audio-Visual Cen-
ter in 1972, depicts the three companies' instructional programs
and examines the significance of performance contracting for
the Grand Rapids School District. It is available from the In-

diana University Film Library. V. THE OEO EXPERIMENT

During 1970-71, the Office of Economic Opportunity sponsored
a nationwide experiment involving 6 private corporations, 18 school
districts, and more than 20,000 students. Negative results were an-
nounced in January 1972. Available information on this experiment
is somewhat skewed by OEO's reluctance to allow publicity. The
little that was published usually bore OEO's seal of approval. The of-
ficial reports are available from the Office of Economic Opportunity,
Washington, D.C. In addition there are the following:
Some OEO-approved descriptions-

Jeffry Schiller. “Performance Contracting: Some Questions
and Answers." American Education, May 1971. pp. 3-5.
John O. Wilson. “Performance Contracting: An Experiment
in Accountability.” The Instructor, June-July 1971. pp.
Betty Murphy. “Peformance Contracting: Where Teaching
and Technology Meet.” O.E.O. Opportunity, July-August

1971. pp. 2-9.
Some less rosy descriptions-

Suzanne S. Taylor. "Performance Contracting-One Expe-
rience.” Connecticut Teacher, November-December 1971.

pp. 4-7.

Kathy Donahue. "Performance Contracting in the Bronx
Results in Multiple Disasters for School." United Teacher,
October 4, 1970. p. 28.
James A. Mecklenburger and Donald M. Goldenbaum.
"How OEO Failed Performance Contracting.” Nation's
Schools, April 1972. pp. 31-32.
Washington Education. "Performance Contracting Comes

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