Policy Patrons

Author: Megan E. Tompkins-Stange
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781612509129
Format: PDF, ePub
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Policy Patrons offers a rare behind-the-scenes view of decision making inside four influential education philanthropies: the Ford Foundation, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. The outcome is an intriguing, thought-provoking look at the impact of current philanthropic efforts on education. Over a period of several years, Megan E. Tompkins-Stange gained the trust of key players and outside observers of these four organizations. Through a series of confidential interviews, she began to explore the values, ideas, and beliefs that inform these foundations' strategies and practices. The picture that emerges reveals important differences in the strategies and values of the more established foundations vis-à-vis the newer, more activist foundations--differences that have a significant impact on education policy and practice, and have important implications for democratic decision making. In recent years, the philanthropic sector has played an increasing role in championing and financing education reform. Policy Patrons makes an original and invaluable contribution to contemporary discussions about the appropriate role of foundations in public policy and the future direction of education reform.

Follow the Money

Author: Sarah Reckhow
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199937737
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Some of the nation's wealthiest philanthropies, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, and the Broad Foundation have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in education reform. With vast wealth and a political agenda, these foundations have helped to reshape the reform landscape in urban education. In Follow the Money, Sarah Reckhow shows where and how foundation investment in education is occurring and presents in-depth analysis of the effects of these investments within the two largest urban districts in the United States: New York City and Los Angeles. In New York City, centralized political control and the use of private resources have enabled rapid implementation of reform proposals. Yet this potent combination of top-down authority and outside funding also poses serious questions about transparency, responsiveness, and democratic accountability in New York. Furthermore, the sustainability of reform policies is closely linked to the political fortunes of the current mayor and his chosen school leader. While the media has highlighted the efforts of drastic reformers and dominating leaders such as Joel Klein in New York City and Michelle Rhee in Washington, D.C., a slower, but possibly more transformative, set of reforms have been taking place in Los Angeles. These reforms were also funded and shaped by major foundations, but they work from the bottom up, through charter school operators managing networks of schools. This strategy has built grassroots political momentum and demand for reform in Los Angeles that is unmatched in New York City and other districts with mayoral control. Reckhow's study of Los Angeles's education system shows how democratically responsive urban school reform could occur-pairing foundation investment with broad grassroots involvement. Bringing a sharp analytical eye and a wealth of evidence to one of the most politicized issues of our day, Follow the Money will reshape our thinking about educational reform in America.

The New Education Philanthropy

Author: Frederick M. Hess
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781612508726
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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In "The New Education Philanthropy," Frederick M. Hess and Jeffrey R. Henig convene a diverse group of scholars and analysts to examine the shifting role of education philanthropy over the last decade, giving particular attention to the large national foundations Gates, Broad, Walton, and Lumina, among others that are increasingly aggressive and strategic in their use of funds."

Social Science for What

Author: Alice O'Connor
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
ISBN: 1610444302
Format: PDF, Docs
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Much like today, the early twentieth century was a period of rising economic inequality and political polarization in America. But it was also an era of progressive reform—a time when the Russell Sage Foundation and other philanthropic organizations were established to promote social science as a way to solve the crises of industrial capitalism. In Social Science for What? Alice O’Connor relates the history of philanthropic social science, exploring its successes and challenges over the years, and asking how these foundations might continue to promote progressive social change in our own politically divided era. The philanthropic foundations established in the early 1900s focused on research which, while intended to be objective, was also politically engaged. In addition to funding social science research, in its early years the Russell Sage Foundation also supported social work and advocated reforms on issues from child welfare to predatory lending. This reformist agenda shaped the foundation’s research priorities and methods. The Foundation’s landmark Pittsburgh Survey of wage labor, conducted in 1907-1908, involved not only social scientists but leaders of charities, social workers, and progressive activists, and was designed not simply to answer empirical questions, but to reframe the public discourse about industrial labor. After World War II, many philanthropic foundations disengaged from political struggles and shifted their funding toward more value-neutral, academic social inquiry, in the belief that disinterested research would yield more effective public policies. Consequently, these foundations were caught off guard in the 1970s and 1980s by the emergence of a network of right-wing foundations, which was successful in promoting an openly ideological agenda. In order to counter the political in-roads made by conservative organizations, O’Connor argues that progressive philanthropic research foundations should look to the example of their founders. While continuing to support the social science research that has contributed so much to American society over the past 100 years, they should be more direct about the values that motivate their research. In this way, they will help foster a more democratic dialogue on important social issues by using empirical knowledge to engage fundamentally ethical concerns about rising inequality. O’Connor’s message is timely: public-interest social science faces unprecedented challenges in this era of cultural warfare, as both liberalism and science itself have come under assault. Social Science for What? is a thought-provoking critique of the role of social science in improving society and an indispensable guide to how progressives can reassert their voice in the national political debate. A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation's Centennial Series

No Such Thing as a Free Gift

Author: Linsey McGoey
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 1784781193
Format: PDF, Docs
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Philanthro-capitalism: How charity became big business The charitable sector is one of the fastest-growing industries in the global economy. Nearly half of the more than 85,000 private foundations in the United States have come into being since the year 2000. Just under 5,000 more were established in 2011 alone. This deluge of philanthropy has helped create a world where billionaires wield more power over education policy, global agriculture, and global health than ever before. In No Such Thing as a Free Gift, author and academic Linsey McGoey puts this new golden age of philanthropy under the microscope—paying particular attention to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. As large charitable organizations replace governments as the providers of social welfare, their largesse becomes suspect. The businesses fronting the money often create the very economic instability and inequality the foundations are purported to solve. We are entering an age when the ideals of social justice are dependent on the strained rectitude and questionable generosity of the mega-rich.

Philanthropy in Democratic Societies

Author: Rob Reich
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022633578X
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Philanthropy is everywhere. In 2013, in the United States alone, some $330 billion was recorded in giving, from large donations by the wealthy all the way down to informal giving circles. We tend to think of philanthropy as unequivocally good, but as the contributors to this book show, philanthropy is also an exercise of power. And like all forms of power, especially in a democratic society, it deserves scrutiny. Yet it rarely has been given serious attention. This book fills that gap, bringing together expert philosophers, sociologists, political scientists, historians, and legal scholars to ask fundamental and pressing questions about philanthropy’s role in democratic societies. The contributors balance empirical and normative approaches, exploring both the roles philanthropy has actually played in societies and the roles it should play. They ask a multitude of questions: When is philanthropy good or bad for democracy? How does, and should, philanthropic power interact with expectations of equal citizenship and democratic political voice? What makes the exercise of philanthropic power legitimate? What forms of private activity in the public interest should democracy promote, and what forms should it resist? Examining these and many other topics, the contributors offer a vital assessment of philanthropy at a time when its power to affect public outcomes has never been greater.

The Givers

Author: David Callahan
Publisher: Knopf
ISBN: 1101947055
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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An inside look at the secretive world of elite philanthropists--and how they're quietly wielding ever more power to shape American life in ways both good and bad. While media attention focuses on famous philanthropists such as Bill Gates and Charles Koch, thousands of donors are at work below the radar promoting a wide range of causes. David Callahan charts the rise of these new power players and the ways they are converting the fortunes of a second Gilded Age into influence. He shows how this elite works behind the scenes on education, the environment, science, LGBT rights, and many other issues--with deep impact on government policy. Above all, he shows that the influence of the Givers is only just beginning, as new waves of billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg turn to philanthropy. Based on extensive research and interviews with countless donors and policy experts, this is not a brief for or against the Givers, but a fascinating investigation of a power shift in American society that has implications for us all.

The Prize

Author: Dale Russakoff
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 0547840519
Format: PDF, Docs
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A New York Times Bestseller Mark Zuckerberg, Chris Christie, and Cory Booker were ready to reform our failing schools. They got an education. When Mark Zuckerberg announced to a cheering Oprah audience his $100 million pledge to transform the downtrodden schools of Newark, New Jersey, then mayor Cory Booker and Governor Chris Christie were beside him, vowing to help make Newark “a symbol of educational excellence for the whole nation.” But their plans soon ran into the city’s seasoned education players, fierce protectors of their billion-dollar-a-year system. It’s a prize that, for generations, has enriched seemingly everyone, except Newark’s children. Dale Russakoff delivers a riveting drama of our times, encompassing the rise of celebrity politics, big philanthropy, extreme economic inequality, the charter school movement, and the struggles and triumphs of schools in one of the nation’s poorest cities. As Cory Booker navigates between his status as “rock star mayor” on Oprah’s stage and object of considerable distrust at home, the tumultuous changes planned by reformers and their highly paid consultants spark a fiery grass-roots opposition stoked by local politicians and union leaders. The growth of charters forces the hand of Newark’s school superintendent Cami Anderson, who closes, consolidates, or redesigns more than a third of the city’s schools—a scenario on the horizon for many urban districts across America. Russakoff provides a close-up view of twenty-six-year-old Mark Zuckerberg and his wife as they decide to give the immense sum of money to Newark and then experience an education of their own amid the fallout of the reforms. Most moving are Russakoff’s portraits from inside classrooms, as homegrown teachers and principals battle heroically to reach students damaged by extreme poverty and violence. The Prize is an absorbing portrait of a titanic struggle, indispensable for anyone who cares about the future of public education and the nation’s children.

The Self Help Myth

Author: Erica Kohl-Arenas
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520283430
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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"The Self-Help Myth reveals how philanthropy maintains systems of inequality by attracting attention to the behaviors and responsibilities of poor people while shifting the focus away from structural inequities and relationships of power that produce poverty. The book features foundation investments in addressing migrant poverty in California's Central Valley, simultaneously one of the wealthiest agricultural production regions in the world and home to the poorest people in the United States. The case studies show how compromises between foundation staff and community organizers produce programs that ask farmworkers to help themselves while excluding strategies that address the role of industrial agriculture in creating and maintaining regional poverty. Through archival and ethnographic case studies of foundation investments leading up to the historic Farm Worker Movement, to large scale foundation-driven initiatives to improve conditions in agricultural communities during the 1990s and 2000s, foundations set firm boundaries around definitions of self-help - excluding labor organizing, immigrant rights, and advocacy approaches that hold industry accountable for the enduring abuses of farmworkers and immigrants. Processes of professionalization and institutionalization required to maintain philanthropic relationships further frustrate nonprofit organizational staff increasingly accountable to foundations and not to the people they aim to represent and serve."--Provided by publisher.