Monday, January 16, 2012

Spirituality Program Evaluated by US Defence Think Tank

In my research into recent educational theory one of the stranger reports I have come across is "An Outcome Evaluation of the Success for Kids Program" by Maestas, Nicole and Sarah J. Gaillot (RAND Corporation, 2010). RAND is a think tank which usually reports on US military systems, but does occasionally look at education. This RAND report is well conducted, but what is odd is that the report appears to have been originally titled "An Outcome Evaluation of the Spirituality for Kids Program" (2008). The original report has been deleted from the RAND web site and replaced with one having the word "Spirituality" replaced with "Success".

RAND do not indicate in the new report that this change was made, nor offer an explanation for it. This would appear to be because the organization which commissioned the report changed its name following controversy over allegations of US tax investigations and of being a form of mysticism.

While it might be reasonable for RAND to reissue the report with the new organization name, they should document this change. In particular the RAND report states: "SFK Success for Kids began working with a small number of schools in Los Angeles six years ago ...". That statement appears to be untrue, as then the organization at the time was called: ""SFK Spirituality for Kids ". RAND could have, for example, written "SFK Success for Kids (then known as Spirituality for Kids)...".

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