The Foundation received an initial distribution from Spencer's estate totaling $43 million. The foundation's first two grant awards mark, what would become, a lasting commitment to the training and development of junior scholars.
Lawrence Cremin elected to be the 2nd President. He served as president until his death in 1990.
Patricia Albjerg Graham was elected as the Foundation's 3rd President and served until June 2000.
The Foundation organizes a conference entitled "Values and Evidence in Educational Reform Conference"
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Power, Possibility, and Equity in Research Practice Partnerships (RPPs)