My only snarky comment: Good thing Jeanes and Rosenwald didn’t decide that the better intervention was to use “technology” to improve education…. I can hear them… “the manual typewriter is the key to participation in today’s knowledge economy. We’ll provide two typewriters to every classroom with black students in the South.”
The Next Needed Thing: The impact of the Jeanes Fund on Black schooling in the South, 1900-1930
Abstract: The Jeanes Fund trained and supported Black teachers in over 600 Southern counties between 1909 and 1930, reaching over 40% of Black students by 1930. No evaluation of the program yet exists. Combining novel county-level data created from the Jeanes Fund’s archived records, I estimate the Fund’s impact on racial gaps in enrollment and literacy. I then compare these effects with those from the Rosenwald Fund, which built 5,000 schools for Black students over the same time period, allowing me to compare returns on investments in human resources Jeanes teachers with investments in physical capital Rosenwald schools, and to estimate the combined impact of both programs. I estimate that the Jeanes Fund contributed to approximately 16% of the decline in the Black-White gap in enrollment and 8.5% of the decline in the literacy gap during this time, and that taken together full exposure to both programs between ages 7 and 14 would have closed9 and 13 percentage point gaps in enrollment and literacy respectively, roughly equivalent to initial Black-White gaps conditional on family background.