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June 17 - 22Emerging Public Leaders 2018-19

July 14 - 20: Teachers of Government 2018 program

October 7 - 13: White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellowship conference


Discover key strategies for creating world-class schools in South Carolina, the results of the state's largest-ever study of public education in the state.

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Where Philanthropy Begins

Since the late 1990s, the Self Family Foundation has made grants to support the expansion of Montessori classrooms throughout the state’s public schools. Now, the foundation has also funded a five-year evaluation of its work. The recently published results – from a study conducted by the Riley Institute at Furman University (the study is available online at – show that children in South Carolina’s public Montessori classrooms outperform their peers on state standardized tests, demonstrate higher levels of creativity, have higher school attendance, and fewer disciplinary incidents.

More specifically:

  • Montessori public school students exhibited significantly more achievement
  • growth on state standardized tests than demographically similar non-Montessori students in math, English language arts  (ELA), and social studies. The results for science were mixed. 
  • Low-income, Montessori public school students scored significantly higher on state standardized tests than low-income, non-Montessori public school students in ELA, math, and social studies.
  • Montessori students generally performed better than or similar to non-Montessori students on measures of executive function, although results were mixed. 
  • Montessori students exhibited significantly higher levels of creativity than non-Montessori students. 
  • Montessori public school students consistently demonstrated higher school attendance than similar non-Montessori public school students.
  • Montessori public school students were significantly less likely to have had a disciplinary incident during the school year when compared to similar non-Montessori students.

To read this article in its entirety, click here

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