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August 25, 2009

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August 25, 2009

A bit of a misrepresentation is presented in the 2008 Form 990. On page 24, where a description of the program is required, the following is indicated among its 'noteworthy accomplishments: "received funding and local agreement to establish after school programs in the following year at all 44 elementary, middle, and intermediate schools in the Santa Ana Unified School District, California's seventh largest school district." The misrepresentation comes in that the District itself had procured the funding from the State through its own grantwriting-not through Think Together. Think Together was introduced to the district as a manager of those State funds-not as the provider of funds to the District. Moreover, after school programs have existed within the district previous to Think Together's involvement, some dating back at least 8 years (see elementary schools like Harvey and Diamond). The statement that "students in THINK Together's programs realized significantly greater growth in their CST (California's Standards Test) scores than their peers who did not participate in THINK Together's programs," also misrepresents the influence of THINK Together given the scores referred to are from after school programs within the district previous to the involvement of Think Together. In fact, it would be impossible to substantiate such a claim given that the CST scores of Spring 2008 precede the takeover of district after school programs by Think Together in the Fall of 2008. In sum, although Think Together is running the after school programs in Santa Ana, it did not procure the grants from which it runs the programs, and it is not responsible for the test score improvement. It is simply a financial manager.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

its potential to incorporate itself in public school districts.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Listen to the stakeholders within the school district, i.e. teachers, parents and students.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

unknown.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

young and energetic.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

run a program on a fraction of this money.

Ways to make it better...

I got the sense it was really interested in the district and not just district funds.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

a lack of credibility from credentialed staff within the after school programs.

One thing I'd also say is that...

the CEO seems to be doing well per the 990 form.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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